Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Famer and all around mixed martial arts (MMA) legend, Ken Shamrock, has not had a professional fight for more than 1.5 years, which resulted in a loss to Mike Bourke via technical knockout at King of the Cage: "Platinum" in Durban, South Africa.
That, however, has not stopped "The World's Most Dangerous Man" from being in the MMA spotlight. Specifically, his ongoing and seemingly never-ending feud with the UFC is what seems to keep that light shining on one of the true pioneers of the sport.
What started as a great relationship with the most recognizable MMA organization in the world has turned sour over the years with lawsuits and back-and-forth verbal jabs with UFC President Dana White.
Being featured in an interview with ESPN regarding a possible UFC "monopoly" and the always hot topic that is fighter pay, didn't help Shamrock's rocky relationship with the Zuffa whatsoever; in fact, it only made things worse.
The always open and up front Shamrock appeared today (March 19, 2012) on "The MMA Hour," touching further on his beef with the UFC, White's claims the Shamrock owes him money and his role in helping the UFC become the MMA juggernaut it is today.
Check it out:
"He, (Dana White) fires off on all these things like I owe him money. That's an absolute lie, I owe him no money. Filing a bogus lawsuit? That's funny. Everybody has a right to defend themselves whether they win or lose. If you win, obviously they are going to say yours is a bogus lawsuit. But, to say that he gave me $60,000, this is the hard part about it, I'm trying to figure out, he said I made 2.5 million dollars, and I'm like, when I first went to the UFC, they begged me to come. Dana White came to me and asked me to please come to the UFC. These are numbers that people can check into, I'm not lying about this, where as Dana says things and you can't back them up, you can't find the numbers, he just says, 'We we did this, and we did that for people, and check out the numbers.' Well let us check them out, they won't let you check them out. I made those guys over 50 to 60 million dollars on the fights that I was doing and he said he loaned me sixty grand? How in the world does that match up? They came to me and wanted me to fight for them because they were making 40,000 buy rates on their pay-per-view before I came in the UFC. When I came into the UFC, we did 150,000 buys with the first fight with Tito and then 600,000 buys and then up over 1,000,000."
Not wanting to take sole credit, Shamrock went on to say that it was not just him by himself that helped the UFC grow, but rather a mixture of people that includes Dana White and Tito Ortiz:
"I don't like to come in and say, 'I've done this and I've done that,' because really, it takes a village to make something happen. It takes a lot of people to make it successful. And to hear Dana White say, 'I did this and I did that. It was me. And he didn't do this and didn't do that.' Well, how in the world did they get to where they were at if it was just Dana? Because I didn't see him in the ring. I didn't see him fighting. I didn't see the numbers go up when they had Tito just there. I didn't see any of that. What I saw was me getting in there, building an organization, having a feud with Tito Ortiz to help build those numbers along with Dana White, along with the corporation and the company to shoot those feuds and also to have Tito there, who was a great villain, to have somebody going against me, that's how we did those numbers, because we all got involved and did it, that is how it happened."
Finally, Shamrock talked about whether or not he felt he was treated fair by the promotion during his tenure:
"First of all, I set out deals and I agreed to them. So, I am not going to look back on it now and go, 'Man, look at all the money they made and look at all the money I made, it's not fair.' I'm not going to say that because I did a contract and I made that deal, so therefore it is what it is. But, when I hear things like this, where it sounds like he did all these things for me and I did nothing for them, I mean, that just stirs up a little fire because I am just thinking to myself, 'Where would they be if that feud didn't happen?' They were getting ready to shut the doors from my understanding. Whether it's true or not, that is just what I heard was that they we not doing well. I came in and the numbers changed. I am by no means sitting here and saying that I did that alone, no. Because Tito and myself did a great job with the feud and the bickering and the bantering back and forth and obviously the UFC was there to cover it and put it together and give me the opportunity to do it. But to say that any one person in that situation did more than the other is ridiculous. That's the kind of stuff that has me a hard time dealing with Dana because it seems that anytime something goes wrong, he is the one getting picked on and everyone else is the villain. That's just not the case. He is the one in charge, he is in control and anything that goes on is usually caused by him."
It seems that the Ken Shamrock vs. UFC beef won't be dying down anytime soon.
Regardless of the ongoing tension between the two parties, Shamrock's place in the UFC cannot be erased, which is no more clear than with his appearance on the UFC’s new and revamped pay-per-view (PPV) intro, which opens with Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock at UFC 1, but ultimately ends with powerful wrestler tapping to the submission wizard.
That's got to count for something.
To listen to Shamrock's entire in-depth interview click here.