Frank Shamrock: UFC plucking out the soul of Strikeforce


15 years ago Frank Shamrock won the UFC light heavyweight championship, and was undefeated in title defenses, capping his run with a victory over Tito Ortiz.

Then he fell out with the company, and drifted. After six fights in under two years with the UFC, he had just two fights in the next half decade.

Then Frank Shamrock had a rebirth, in Strikeforce.

He fought as the headliner in Strikeforce 1, knocking out Cesar Gracie in just 21 seconds. A year later he beat Phil Baroni to take the middleweight championship.

Eventually, back to back losses ushered a move to the broadcast booth. Then ZUFFA bought Strikeforce, and the promotions top stars migrated over the the UFC, and those that didn't publicly said they wished they were.

In a recent interview on The MMA Hour, Shamrock struck a rueful, resigned note.

"In a perfect world, (Strikeforce) should live on and all the sweat and tears and the soul we put into it should give value somewhere else. In the world of big business, it's probably going to get wrapped up, rolled up and disappear. You know, like many of the other brands in this industry that were used to consolidate and build another brand.

"Sadly, it's just business. I don't think it's going to live on.

"At one point, Strikeforce was competing, it was number two. We did it in such a quick period of time and the intention was right. The sport came together to create Strikeforce and Scott (Coker) had the opportunity, and I had a few years left in the cage. But, it will never happen again. That moment is gone. I think that's the toughest thing for me to accept, is that moment is gone."

"Strikeforce is alive and it has a great soul. It's just that they've been picking the soul out of it and taking the talent away from it and now it's a shell. It can definitely be rebuilt. Strikeforce was amazing. The idea of it is still, it still has value. But the way it is being treated, they are plucking all the value out of it."

"The hardest part for me is that I started working and I didn't get to finish. But, it's big business. Showtime, they are in the business of ratings and growing a product and growing their network and the UFC hasn't been supporting that. They've put out some demands that are just, you know, they haven't been amenable. But the relationship is frayed.

"I don't know who loses out except for the fans when they cancel a show like this. I think (Showtime cancelling the Strikeforce event after Gilbert Melendez was injured) is a telling example of what's going to happen in our future. You know, Gilbert's the star and if we can't have the star, then Showtime doesn't want to play."

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tags: UFC   Strikeforce   Frank Shamrock (detail)  video   


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Recent Comments »

OnlyTheStrongSurvive site profile image  

10/3/12 11:25 PM by OnlyTheStrongSurvive

We talked forever about wishing we could see the top guys from different promotions fight each other. Now we get to and everyone complains.

huggy bear site profile image  

10/3/12 11:00 PM by huggy bear

I really really hope your trolling. The reason Pride isn't here right now is because management was doing business with the yakuza, paying some fighters off 2 lose (Coleman), and other shady business ventures. Why do you think dream ended not because people weren't coming to the shows its because they couldn't get a tv deal which means no sponsors which means no money. Pride destroyed jmma and that's one reason why the UFC took so long to come back. If Pride would of stayed legit they would still be #1 and would be having a war with the UFC which would of been awesome because the cards would be stacked.

HolyAvengerP5 site profile image  

10/3/12 10:50 PM by HolyAvengerP5

i think the ex WECers are quite happy to be in the ufc instead. a lot more money

B17 site profile image  

10/3/12 10:45 PM by B17

I cant recall a bad SF event that Ive seen

choadler site profile image  

10/3/12 10:32 PM by choadler

World series of fighting. ? Nbc project in the works?

kevsh site profile image  

10/3/12 10:31 PM by kevsh

It's fairly obvious that Zuffa's purchase of SF was to get their talent and eliminate one of it's competitors all at once. It's just as obvious the reason SF is still around is due to the Showtime contract. No contract, no need to keep SF around any longer.So yes, they have plucked the soul from Strikeforce but it's an unintended result of the buyout and a somewhat more cruel fate than just closing it down all together.

KingofBJJ site profile image  

10/3/12 10:20 PM by KingofBJJ

No really that on it, exactly what is WSOF?

MMALOGIC site profile image  

10/3/12 4:10 PM by MMALOGIC

showtime will probably go with WSOF once SF is gone.

stonepony site profile image  

10/3/12 3:57 PM by stonepony

Yeah, SF never would have even existed without the UFC doing all the work to create the market. They COULD have positioned themselves as the major triple-A organization. They blew that. Unfortunately, Bellator seems to be going the same way.

c  hurrle site profile image  

10/3/12 2:59 PM by c hurrle

I consider Frank one of the greatest of all time. His run sits up there with the runs of Wanderlei, Chuck, Saku, Tito, Anderson Silva and Jon Jones as one of historical significance. That said, the constant UFC bashing just gets old.