Ken Shamrock talks Frank Shamrock, Dana White, PEDs, Tito Ortiz

Ken Shamrock stopped by Submission Radio. Ken discussed mending his relationship with his brother Frank, the possibility of getting on the same page as Dana White, performance enhancing drugs in MMA and why he lost to Tito due to injury. He also spoke about his disgust for UFC uniforms, the sad way his contract with the UFC ended and his retirement status.

Full interview-

Interview Transcript 

Thoughts on the UFC Uniform

“Well first of all, they're already taking percentages of the sponsorship money that would come in for anybody, and then they have to except those sponsorship monies and so there has to be enough money for the UFC to make anything. So the fighters are really being limited on how much money they can even make from their sponsorships, and then now basically it’s going to be nil. They're gonna put uniforms on 'em and the UFC is going to have major sponsors on these uniforms and they’re going to get all of that money and the fighters are going to get zero.”

On never getting credit from the Fertitta brothers on making UFC a success.

“When me and Tito fought, we blew the numbers up, tripled, quadrupled them compared to what they were making and nobody, not Fertitta’s or anybody wanna give me any credit whatsoever for helping keep the UFC where it is at today.”

Ken’s thoughts on MMA Pay and if he believes the pay will rise in the future

“No, because they won’t, because they don’t have to. And it’s sad because even when people look at it and go 'look I made a million dollars' it’s like, do you realise that this guy that made a million dollars is putting his whole life into this thing and drew enough for the UFC to bring in a hundred and twenty million dollars, and they gave him a million; For people coming to watch HIM fight, HIM. And the UFC and the people in the UFC don’t have to worry about a time frame that their bodies are gonna hold up long enough for them to keep fighting. They get to keep going on and making money and not worry about injury. These guys are in it for three to five years, five years if they're lucky, but three years max for most of these guys, and they gotta make that money now. And to not pay them with the money that they deserve to get paid it to me is absolutely a sin.”

On mending his relationship with his brother Frank Shamrock

“My brother came out with that documentary Blood Brothers 'Bound by Blood' and so it was an opportunity for us to get together  and really talk about things, and I was happy, I was happy the way it came out. It seemed like he was trying to make an effort trying to make things to make things right, and so I opened my arms. That’s all I ever wanted, was for him to make an honest effort to fix what he broke. I mean I didn’t break it, I didn’t do those things. He did. So I’m not saying I wasn’t at fault at all, because I was. I know I was, but I wasn’t the one who walked out and left, and I wasn’t the one who didn’t go to my Dads funeral, or wasn’t there when he was sick. I didn’t do those things. And so I embraced him when he did that, I was happy”

On the possibility of being on good terms with Dana White again

I would hope so. You know, a life time is a long time to go hating somebody or being angry at somebody. And I may have spoken out at times and been angry at times just as he has been, but you know lately all I'm doing is just trying to make sure that we don’t ruin the sport, that we don’t lose fighters who are coming in here, putting their bodies on the line and that are basically risking it all to be a professional fighter, and when they get to that level where they’ve all dreamed to get to and then they walk away with you know, not necessarily empty pockets, but empty pockets when it comes to the amount of money they're getting paid, as opposed to what they're (UFC) making off of these guys. It's not fair and it doesn’t matter whether I like Dana or I don’t like Dana because it’s irrelevant, it’s wrong.”

What would have to happen in order for Ken and Dana to get back on the same page

“Personally, I think it would have to be Dana to WANT to open up, to want to, you know explore and put this behind us. But what he'll have to realize is that I’m still going to speak out against fighter pay and fighter treatment and it’s not necessarily directed just at him but, it’s directed at the organization and obviously he's one of the heads of the organization, but there’s no reason for him to hate me, or to call me names, or to try and change the history books and do all those things because someone’s trying to speak out for something that's right. And if I’m not right, by all means prove me wrong.”

 On UFC cutting Ken’s contract due to him speaking out about fighter pay and fighter treatment

“I know it was pretty sickening and stupid the way it happened.”

Thoughts on performance enhancing drugs in MMA and if the problem can be stopped

I think that when people talk about banning the substances, its funny because I don’t think people really realized what they’re asking, or what they're saying. If they take these things out of the sports, people are going to be backed up twenty years as far as competitiveness. What people used to see in colleges that are now like pro now and professional like the supermen; the level of play will be dropped significantly in fighting, in football and in everything that we’re used to seeing. The athleticism and the strength and the stuff these guys are doing will be dropped significantly and the entertainment value will drop with it, and I don’t really think people realize what they’re asking for. They're asking for the value of the entertainment to drop significantly and we’re going to be ok with that, because considering what we’re used to seeing, it's just not going to be the same. And I think people are saying 'oh it'll still be good, it'll still be this' I just don’t really believe they understand what it is that they’re really asking for and I believe personally that things were made to help people and their health and I believe there’s a safe level for people to take these kinds of things to help their body recover and be a safe athlete and be able to get in the ring and compete on a safe level and then be able to have their body's recover enough for them to be normal throughout the week. Rather than having these guys afraid of getting caught, so they won’t go to a doctor, so they won't get it legally, they go on the black market, they get it because they can’t let anybody know they got it cause then they can lose the ability to fight or their pro card or whatever it is that they're doing. They'll get caught, the media will find out, they’ll get banned, they’ll get fined, all these things happen. So they’ll go to the black market and get it and that’s where the problem is, is that they're getting stuff (with which) they don’t know what they're doing, they don’t have doctors for their care to help them do it the proper way so that they're not putting their health at risk. So that’s the issue right there. I think that If they could somehow find a safe level, make these guys all make sure they got their own doctors to put 'em on it, if they're gonna go on it to have their own doctors put 'em on it and make sure that the doctors are giving physicals every month, once a month, keeping them at a safe level, I think that’s how you fix the problem.

"It’s crazy to think people go 'oh we're gonna stop it now, now that it’s been going on for fifty years, we're just gonna completely ban it now', because I promise you this and I bet you people who understand how many people are using it in sports, they know how BADLY the athletic level will drop it. It'll be so bad that people won’t want to turn on the TV anymore because there not going to be able to see what there used to seeing.”

On how many fighters in MMA were on performance enhancing drugs in the 90’s

"It’s hard to say how many people where on them, but I think you look across the board and the funny thing is, is that when you look at some of these guys, fans will go 'he's not using!' and it’s like, listen I’m in there, I’m in the locker room and I know what guys are doing. And it’s funny when I hear them say that because it just makes me laugh. Just because they don’t have abs, and don’t have biceps, and they don’t have the form of a body builder, doesn’t mean that they're not using. I promise you that. These guys, all, most of them are all trying to improve themselves to be a world champion. And I’m not saying all of them, cause I don’t know if all of them are doing it, but I’m saying there's a significant amount of them that are doing it.”

On who rewards their talent better and pays better between Vince McMahon and Dana White

“I don’t know what other people say, but for me it’s definitely Vince (McMahon). I felt like he did me right, even though he may, I don’t know what the issues are with me and him now cause no one will talk to me or say anything, but for me personally I thought he treated me very fairly, he paid me well and I thought he gave me a great opportunity to be able to keep competing in the WWF; Of course I had to do my job, I had to do what they needed me to do, otherwise he wouldn’t give me the time of day. I understand that, I understood that. But when I did do what I was supposed to do he payed me what I deserved."

On being able to stop Tito’s take downs and taking Tito down if it wasn’t for his injuries in the fight

“ I think that if you look at my track record, I went against a guy called Duane Kozlovski who was  a Greco roman world class medallist in the Olympics and I destroyed him. I went against Dan Severn who was a world class wrestler and I was able to stop his take downs several times and choke him out. So if you look at my record across of dealing with guys who were in the world class level of boxing and also wrestling, I was able to dominate them. They couldn’t get me to the ground and I was always able to get them to the ground. If you look at Tito’s level of wrestling; great wrestler, he really was, but he didn’t make it into that collage level. So if I was I was going to compare me at that, that’s how I would compare it. “

“Absolutely yes. There's no question I would have been a different fighter and it would have been a much different, it would have been a lot more difficult for him to be able to try and take me down, and then with my submissions being able to counter that take down into a submission would've really been dangerous for him."

On Tito coming back to Bellator and Dana White telling fighters to retire

“I think that anybody who has given so much to the sport deserves the right and the opportunity to go out the way he wants to go out. I don’t think anybody has the right to tell him or anybody else that their done. That’s just not fair. He’s done things for other people, he's helped build the sport, he's been one of the greatest light heavyweight champions ever, and then to tell him he's gotta quit like he doesn’t know better, that’s just not fair.” 

On Owen Hart passing away in the ring

“We were standing backstage and I was in the gorilla station and I watched it happen. And for the longest time we stood there and just stared at the monitor waiting for some gimmick to pop up, or the match to start, or for him to pop up and then when he was wheeled back in the gurney, still we were waiting for him to get up. I mean, we just didn’t believe that it was real you know, because you know all the gimmicks and stuff that go on there and you're never told what's happening and they’ll play all the way out till the next week. And so for the longest time, I think the fans were the same way, was that no one truly believed or understood what was happening at that moment and how real it was and for us, I mean even thought there was a meeting about whether we would go on and do the show, (whether) we were going to keep doing it, out of his honour we were going to do it, at the back of everybody's mind we were all thinking we were getting worked, like this was a work, someone was working us. And so no one really grasped that until probably after a few weeks afterwards where it set in, in the funeral and in the news and it really set in that it was real. But can could you imagine that, not really knowing something like that?”

On if Ken is officially retired

“Oh no I’ll never retire. I’ll never fight again but I’ll never retire”

Greatest of all time

“Rickson Gracie. I think Rickson was probably the best of all”

Best regards,

Denis Shkuratov

Submission Radio Australia

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