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Frank Shamrock on Mickey Rourke: 'He is obsessed with fighting'

The former UFC light heavyweight champion shared some thoughts recently on Mickey Rourke's return to boxing, how the actor borrowed one of his in-cage antics for "The Wrestler" and then shared a story from when he accompanied Rourke to WrestleMania 25.

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Mickey Rourke told Frank Shamrock he was going to box again over a year ago, while getting in shape to play Gareth Thomas in a biopic about the gay Welsh rugby player. The former champion teased his Hollywood friend about it, but when he saw him several months after, he realized he was serious about it.

"About six months later he told me the same thing and he looked totally different because he was training his butt off," Shamrock told "I figured okay, he is probably going to do it."

Rourke was, of course, preparing for the now infamous fight against Elliot Seymour in Moscow, Russia, where he won by technical knockout in the second round on November 30, 2014.

"It was amazing," said Shamrock about the shape Rourke got himself into. "He really took to fitness and really switched his body up and his whole health approach because of that rugby movie, because he was going to play a guy that was like 35 or 33 or so. He knew this was the last time he was going to look like that and take his body to that level. He said he was going to call me and I was going to go with him, but he didn't call me."

The former UFC light heavyweight champion said he had not yet seen the fight at the time of the interview, so he couldn't comment on the stories of it being fixed. Aside from the rumors of the fight's legitimacy, Rourke did get into terrific shape, especially for being 62 years of age. Shamrock was impressed by his devotion and dedication to his craft to get into great shape for the role of Thomas and for having the courage to step into the ring also.

"It's just amazing what he has done with his body and his health. It's what real serious actors do," he said. "They can become something else. I have all the respect in the world for him, because there is no way I'd get in there. No way I'd be in there."

Shamrock first met Rourke while the actor was filming The Wrestler. Rourke's portrayal of Randy "The Ram" Robinson was nominated for "Best Actor" in the 2008 Academy Awards. Rourke was a fan of Shamrock and wanted to use one of Shamrock's antics that he pulled out against Phil Baroni in Strikeforce, where he pointed at him and then clasped his hands together and leaned his face on them to indicate he was going to put Baroni to sleep.

"He was always a big fan of fighting and we never met, we just circled each other. He was doing The Wrestler and one day I'm in the gym training for who knows? Nick Diaz or somebody and he calls me up and says ‘I want to use your move.' I go, ‘what do you mean?' He had his stunt coordinator put him on who was a friend of mine and he said ‘listen, I want to use your move, but I don't want to use it without asking you. I have a lot of respect for you and I want to use that move you did on Baroni where you gave him that sleeper thing,'" said Shamrock.

Rourke would pay homage to those antics in the film when his character, Robinson, was setting up his opponent for his finishing move.

"I go ‘yeah Mickey, I would be honored.' So he did it and then he invited me to the movie premiere and he just started hanging out after that. He is obsessed with fighting so it's like every conversation we get in begins or ends with something about fighting."

Rourke's stock was high once again at that time and Vince McMahon brought him in for WrestleMania 25, the biggest event that WWE puts on every year. Shamrock shared a story of how the Academy Award nominee asked him to be by his side for the event in case any shenanigans were to occur.

"He just reclaimed his stardom after The Wrestler and he was up for an Oscar and getting Oscar buzz. He took it seriously. He thought ‘what if they double cross me? What if they make me look like a fool?' He called me up and said ‘listen, I want you to go to WrestleMania with me and get my back.' Bring some of your tough friends.' I said ‘okay.' So we went and it was all good. He is a serious dude. He didn't know and he's from a different world and you don't mess with him.

"They were all creeped out because we came in all hard and they were like ‘no, no, no, it's all going to be good. Mickey is a hard guy. He grew up in New York, Brooklyn, and he grew up the hard way since he was a young boy. That is how he survived on the street. Put your dukes up. I always respected the hell out of him because he has a passion, he has a dream, he has a vision, and he goes for it, no matter what anyone says he keeps going."

The former champion and star actor found a common thread between each other and formed a friendship. Shamrock's early life is well documented as is Rourke's. They both have roots in fighting and have overcome several hurdles to push through in their chosen careers despite battling demons at different times of their livesl respectively.

"I think that is one of the reasons why we clicked. We are all secretly fighting something. A lot of us are more vocal about it and we participate more and yeah, we've had a rough life, but we are both fighters, so we connect well with that."

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