One of the most bitter rivalries in mixed martial arts (MMA) was laid to rest a couple of weeks ago as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White ended his feud with longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran Ken Shamrock, after years of back-and-forth verbal sparring.
From debts that were never paid to legal court battles, White and Shamrock always seemed to find a way to bash one another, never missing the opportunity to do so.
According to Shamrock, he simply had enough of the never-ending vicious cycle, which is why he rolled the dice and decided to reach out to the Las Vegas fight boss in hopes of squashing their beef.
To his surprise, his request was met with little resistance.
Shamrock spoke about the history of the feud and details how the two came to a mutual understanding on his recent guest spot on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting):
"It's just kind of the way things happened. I know that I had my moments where it was more personal for me, just as Dana's had his. But as time went on, it just got to a point where, it felt like no matter what I was fighting for, whether it was for fighters' pay or fighter treatment, or whether it was the way the I've been treated, or even the way the show is going, it just seemed like I was banging my head against the wall, almost. So it got to the point where it was just becoming so repetitious. It seemed like every time my name got mentioned, I got bashed. Every time Dana's name got mentioned, it got bashed. I just saw the opportunity to at least reach out and squash it, hoping that Dana had the same thoughts that I was having."
Shamrock goes into detail about their conversation, which at times got very heated.
"I said, 'I think we were both fighting for the same thing. I think you're doing it from a business owner's standpoint. I'm doing it from an athlete standpoint. We see things differently. Whatever your reasons are for not wanting to expose the inner workings of your pay scales and the money coming in, I guess that's something that I'm willing to just leave alone, put aside, because it seems like we're not getting anywhere. We're always just bashing heads, and you're fighting for the same thing. You want the UFC to succeed. That's your baby. That's your all. I want the same thing, but I want it in a different way. But I'm sure that we can reach some terms here where we could just let it be. We both have our opinions, whether they're right or wrong, depending on what side you're on, but I think we can not fight about it. I think we can move forward and build and do things without trashing one another.' And it got heated for a while. I think Dana feels like he owns the UFC, and that no one should pry or question the way he does things. And to a point, I think that's why the UFC has been able to go where it's going. But it's like with me: the strength that I have is that I'll never quit, but my weakness is I'll never quit. Our strength sometimes becomes our weakness, and that's all I was trying to get him to see -- that everything he's done had been great, but what has been so strong for you is now starting to become your weakness. I didn't say it in those words, but just let him know that I have an opinion, and that I think a lot of other people are going to have some opinions the same. It's starting to get that way. I wanted to bury the hatchet. Dana felt the same way. But again, like I said, neither one of us relinquished our positions. I think we both still kinda feel the same way we feel, but I think that we understand that the way we were going about it wasn't the right way."
"The World's Most Dangerous Man" is adamant that his intent was to never hurt UFC, but rather get under Dana's skin. In the end, both men decided to put it all behind them after laying their cards out on the table.
"My intentions have never been to hurt the UFC. Early on, my intentions were to really dig at Dana. There's no question, I got personally involved in some things I thought he did me wrong, I thought he was doing some people wrong. But I see where Dana's coming from, he wants to protect the UFC at all costs. I understand what he's doing. I didn't have an understanding of that before, so we both have a different understanding of each other. So I think anything's possible now. I think Dana understands that I'm not the person I was years back, when I thought he did me wrong and I thought that he did some other people wrong. We're past that. It's time to move forward. Put that behind and move forward, and so I'm willing to do that. I'm sure he feels like I did him wrong, too. He has his position about what I did wrong to him, so if he's willing to put that behind him and I'm willing to put what I think he did behind me and move forward for the benefit of MMA and the fans, then I think that's the best thing we could possibly do, and I think we've done that."
All's well that ends well.
Anyone think there's hope for White to make nice with Shammy's brother, too?