By Dave Madden @DMaddenMMA
“Without data, you are just another person with an opinion…” (Ripley, p. 19)
Unlike most sports, MMA affords the opportunity for athletes to be more tangible and places fans closer to the front seat of the control room than others; therefore, the Tweets, posts, emails, or other public expressions of fans matters. Hopping into the passenger seat, Bobby Razak, filmmaker and action sports director, took to the streets with Ken Shamrock, “The World’s Most Dangerous Man,” in his interview series: Shift. Not to worry, Shamrock is only dangerous inside a locked cage, so there were no reported incidents of road rage. Since the filming of this interview, prior to Bellator MMA 138, headlined by Ken Shamrock vs. Kimbo Slice, much of the discussion targeted what has now been etched into MMA history. In conclusion to Bellator MMA 138, fight fans lit up the cyberspace ethos with claims that the fight between Shamrock and Slice was staged. Over the course of the drive, from first-gear to fifth, Shamrock’s passion for fighting is palpable, and when he finally puts the car into park to bid ado, fans who theorized that Shamrock would attempt to deliver anything other than his best efforts may drift further away from their previously held beliefs.
As stated, much of the content is now dated, but Shamrock’s ending remarks may leave a number of you who claimed Bellator MMA 138 was fixed to feel ashamed, hopefully shifting your attitude:
— Matt Stinson (@Matt_Stinson) June 22, 2015
Some ppl Tweetn’ like Kimbo V Shamrock was an actual legit fight. Lol. Here’s a tip. The Fix was in😉 #Bellator138
— MAC (@wado_mac) June 20, 2015
At approximately the eight-minute mark, Shamrock put the Tesla into park, and morphed into “The World’s Most Thankful Man,”
“First of all, I’ve had a tremendous run. The fans, up and down, have been tremendous throughout my career. Let me tell you that I have truly been blessed to entertain the fans. They are, and I’ve always said this, truly, truly appreciated by me, and I always want to make sure that they know that. They have a voice in this [MMA], and they need to be heard.”
There were no donuts done with Shamrock at the wheel, though he is adamant that the fight-game is fueled by fighters and fans in a cyclical cycle:
“There’s too much money being made out there off of the fans; the fans are the ones who are actually giving their money and being entertained by these fighters, and they [fighters] are not receiving it. Let’s change that man.”
Privy to fans’ rights, abilities, and tendencies to announce their opinions, positive or negative, Shamrock would likely maintain his show of good will to all, suggesting the need to kill the engine to poor business dealings in MMA, which means collaborating versus attacking with a personally held perspective. Shamrock veered the focus of viewers, who truly embrace fighters: the entertainment locked in the cage, to shift their social media constructs to more valuably aim toward being agents of change in the realm of MMA,
“I’m not picking on one person. I’m talking about the industry. Period!”
Watching this episode of Shift, it’s obvious how passionate Shamrock is about MMA’s fans and fighters; in fact, the creases in his face stamp an exclamation point to what he’s saying. With an understanding of his give to MMA as the backdrop, it’s difficult to comprehend how fans can scream fix. Also, re-watching Bellator MMA 138’s main event with this episode of Shift top-of-mind, in conjunction with an analysis of the fight from Jimmy Smith, Bellator MMA’s commentator, may finally get you to look in the rearview mirror when it comes to the idea of Shamrock throwing a fight.
On an episode of Stand and Bang Radio, Jimmy Smith appeared as a special guest and shed some light on the contractual negotiation process likely to follow a rigged fight that most fight fans may not have taken into account,
“If Bellator came to me; Rich Chou, the matchmaker, came to me and says, ‘Hey, this fight’s a work.’ If I don’t punch him in the face (which I would), you don’t want to be around for my next contract negotiations; do you? Because I will sit in that boardroom with Viacom and say, ‘Hey, guess what I was told? I want three million dollars a year!’ Anyone you go to with a fix has you by the fucking balls.”
Check out the entire collection of Shift episodes or an assortment of other videos at:
You should also hear the interview with Jimmy Smith on Stand and Bang Radio for yourself at:
Ripley, Amanda. 2013. The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way. Simon and Schuster.