MMANews.com's own Chris Howie recently caught up with legendary MMA fighter and former UFC champion Frank Shamrock to discuss a number of topics. Below is a complete transcript of the interview, conducted on Friday, October 19th.
FRANK SHAMROCK INTERVIEW (Oct. 19, 2007)
Chris Howie of MMANews.com: This is Chris Howie with MMANews.com and today I am speaking with a legend of the sport and the current Strikeforce Middleweight champion, Frank Shamrock. How are you today Frank?
Frank Shamrock: I’m doing good Chris, just doing some training actually.
MMANews.com: Did I catch you at a bad time?
Frank Shamrock: Nope.
MMANews.com: How is your training going?
Frank Shamrock: It’s going well.
MMANews.com: The last time we spoke was before your fight with Phil Baroni…
Frank Shamrock: Yup.
MMANews.com: Going into that fight did you think you would win as handily as you did and how did you feel after the fight?
Frank Shamrock: It felt good you know? But I smashed up my knee right before the fight so that was a little painful but I took minimal damage, just a few shots to the head and all in all I was pretty pleased with how it went. I love it when a good game plan plays out and I am able to execute it.
MMANews.com: How is the knee feeling now?
Frank Shamrock: It’s good. I did some rehab on it and it doesn’t really bother me at all anymore. There is a little bit of pain when I try and straighten it but other than that it feels fantastic.
MMANews.com: When do you think we can expect to see you fight again?
Frank Shamrock: Well actually right now I’m trying to figure out a good time. My wife is pregnant now so I’m either going to try to close the year with one or pick one up in late February or early April.
MMANews.com: MMANews.com spoke with Cung Le the other day and he was saying that you backed out of a proposed fight with him. What is the story behind that comment?
Frank Shamrock: Umm, no one has asked me to fight him yet. I would love the chance to fight him. I am planning on it for mid-2008 but I think that he should probably get some experience first because I don’t think his five fights against my 40-plus fights is really going to work out for him that well.
MMANews.com: So possibly the end of 2007 or into early 2008 we could see you fight again?
Frank Shamrock: Yeah, I’d like to get one before the end of the year but it will depend on how I am feeling. I’m feeling good now and have a lot of extra energy so we’ll see what happens.
MMANews.com: Now would you be fighting for Strikeforce or EXC or will that be determined later?
Frank Shamrock: I’m not really sure how that will work right now. I owe them both a couple fights each. I think it’s going to take a couple more big shows to get some of these organizations off so hopefully we can bring some other companies in and we’ll do it all together.
MMANews.com: Is there anyone your looking to fight in particular? Who is on your radar?
Frank Shamrock: Well Renzo Gracie is the next fight for me for sure. I have to give that back to the fans. He stole something from the fans.
MMANews.com: So whenever it will be, Renzo is the opponent?
Frank Shamrock: Oh yeah. He’s the next guy that I want.
MMANews.com: Sounds like you look forward to fighting him again.
Frank Shamrock: Hell yeah. Last time I fought him I was unprepared and fought a shitty fight but now I’m just going to smash him.
MMANews.com: What are your thoughts on some of the other things going on in the MMA world such as the Randy Couture/UFC situation?
Frank Shamrock: I’ve lived through that script before. It’s about time someone else besides me is sticking up for themselves and telling the truth about the lies in the industry. I’ve been trying to tell people this stuff for a long time but it’s hard to get through to people. I’m very proud of Randy and I think this will help the sport grow and open up a lot of people’s eyes as to what is going on behind the scenes. I feel like the sport is in trouble now. They don’t really have a whole lot of stars in the UFC and I find they are over saturating the market with basic extreme violence instead of promotion of the athlete and promotion of the talent.
MMANews.com: So you feel they are more worried about being violent than promoting their talent?
Frank Shamrock: I feel like they are more worried about promoting their brand, the UFC brand, than promoting the stars and the talent in the sport and the problem in doing that is that people don’t go to see fights, they go to see stars fight. It’s like, people who go to see movies don’t go to see the movie – they go to see the stars of the movie. They will learn that eventually. I just think we need more stars in the sport.
MMANews.com: So this is something you could say you seen coming from your dealings with the UFC and Dana White and you think more fighters should stick up for themselves the way you have done in the past?
Frank Shamrock: Yeah. It’s hard when they are the only big show in town but 2008 is going to be a huge year and I think there is going to be a lot of money coming into the industry, a lot of competitors, and I think the truth in the industry will level out a bit. A lot of people will lose money and a lot of people will make money but I just hope the sport grows exponentially because of all this.
Frank Shamrock opens up in-depth with MMANews.com…
MMANews.com: With the IFL letting go of your team I was curious if that all ended on good terms?
Frank Shamrock: Oh yeah. It was kind of just a where they were going sort of thing. We had a team that wasn’t strong and unfortunately the IFL didn’t have the time and resources to help that but they are a great company and I wish them all well. They treated the talent, the athletes, and the coaches all really well.
MMANews.com: Let’s switch gears a little bit and discuss your training. What is a typical day of training like for Frank Shamrock?
Frank Shamrock: Well, I get to work at 9 o’clock and do all the stuff for the schools and such. Around 11 o’clock I hit the mitts. Around noon I usually condition and do some wrestling, which I am doing now, and that ends around 2 o’clock. After that it varies but I train different aspects and attend meetings. At 5 o’clock I go home and have dinner with my wife then at 6:30 I go hit the weights and do more conditioning work outs then I go home and watch Grey’s Anatomy or Boston Legal with my wife.
MMANews.com: Sounds busy.
Frank Shamrock: That's a usual day.
MMANews.com: And you said earlier your wife is pregnant?
Frank Shamrock: Yeah, the baby is due in May and she is all glowing and happy so…
MMANews.com: I congratulate you on that Frank.
Frank Shamrock: Thanks pal.
MMANews.com: So Frank you train nearly every day correct?
Frank Shamrock: Always have. About 4-5 days a week and I usually dedicate 1 day a week to business. It keeps me tied up but it is a way of life for me. I train off-season or on-season.
MMANews.com: When I watched the preview show for your fight with Phil I was intrigued by some of the things you did in the gym such as your work on the ball to better your all around movement. Could you talk a little about those things?
Frank Shamrock: Sure. My first style was a wrestling/submission fighting style that I learned from the Pancrase organization. The biggest theory in that style is the idea to have constant balance and control. It means you are basically balancing on top of an object while that object is moving and you re-adjust your body weight to stay on top and use that body weight as a weapon. We use the ball to practice that theory and it enables you to learn your body's balance, how to stay on top, and how to do continuous damage by way of your weight while leaving your arms and legs free. It’s one of the ways to develop muscle control and balance control.
MMANews.com: Very interesting. It was neat watching the things that you could do with it.
Frank Shamrock: Yeah it is. My theory is that you should be able to move your body to any position so that you can be versatile in any style.
MMANews.com: Walking into the Baroni fight a lot of people figured if anyone was getting knocked out it would be you and you were quick to say that you could knock Phil out. One of the highlights of the fight in my opinion was you looking at Phil and motioning to him that you were going to put him to sleep then seconds later you dropped him…
Frank Shamrock: [laughing quite hard] Yeah well I don’t know where that stuff comes from but a lot of the battle with Phil was psychological and that did some damage while I was trying to keep Phil psychologically confused. I really felt amped up and wanted to try to get him angry and unfocused and that is what that did. It seems to work well for me.
MMANews.com: Yeah there was a great build for that fight and it was one many people wanted to see and I think it paid off in the end.
Frank Shamrock: Yeah it did. I enjoyed everything about that fight on a personal level.
MMANews.com: Last time we talked you said how you like your fights to have a good build to them so that it is something people will want to see. Do you think we will see more of that leading up to a fight with Renzo?
Frank Shamrock: Oh most definitely. I have some wonderful videos planned for Renzo. We can’t forget that even though this is a sport of fighting it is also a sport of entertainment. We are in a business of fighting and entertainment and on the entertainment front I just tell the truth and amplify it a little bit. So with the Gracie fight I just plan on telling the truth and getting him going.
MMANews.com: And you said you have some videos planned for him?
Frank Shamrock: I most certainly do. I don’t think he will appreciate them very much but I’m sure the fans will.
MMANews.com: Will that fight most likely happen in EXC?
Frank Shamrock: I think it will happen more with both of them, EXC and Strikeforce. In order to compete with the UFC I think we need to get more of these smaller companies together.
MMANews.com: Do you think with the Couture situation it will lead to more fighters leaving and then perhaps more bigger names spread out over different organizations?
Frank Shamrock: Absolutely. 100 percent.
MMANews.com: Do you think that is what’s best for the sport?
Frank Shamrock: Most definitely. You need competition and you need places for these guys to be their own talent. In the UFC they control everything. They control who you are and how people see you and that is not how you build stars.
MMANews.com: Do you have anything coming up that you would like to mention?
Frank Shamrock: Umm actually I do not. I’ve just been working here at the school. Soon we will be launching our franchise of schools at the beginning of 2008. I have a couple reality shows in the works, films, and books. I’m just doing my thing.
MMANews.com: Reality shows?
Frank Shamrock: Yeah but they aren’t really about fighting they are more about life things.
MMANews.com: Ok Frank, well I appreciate you taking a few minutes out of your training to talk with us. Is there anything else you would like to say?
Frank Shamrock: I’d just to thank the fans and haters, whether you like me or not, I just want to thank everyone for sticking around. All official news that comes out on me you can find on my website which is www.FrankShamrock.com.
MMANews.com: Ok. We’ll all be looking forward to your videos for Renzo. You have a good one Frank.
Frank Shamrock: Thanks a lot buddy.
Check out more exclusive MMANews.com interviews in the archive section by CLICKING HERE.