Morning Report: Ken Shamrock, Ian Freeman engage in bitter war of words over cancelled fight

MMA Fighting

I know, I know. There's kind of an important middleweight fight in a few days. But folks, this was just too ridiculous not to share.

So 49-year-old Ken Shamrock was supposed to fight 42-year-old Ian Freeman in Doncaster, England on July 27. The promotion distributed posters, sold tickets, the works. But alas, it wasn't meant to be, and everything fell apart at the last second.

So what happened? Well, that's where things get interesting. First let's hear from Shamrock, via the UG's Jack Brown:

We put a contract together and we made a deal. They came back to me, probably after about four weeks, with the contract that we agreed upon and said that, "We don't want to do that contract." Ha-ha. I was just like, "Wait a minute. What did you say?" It's like I'm from another world sometimes. It's like, "You made a deal, but you don't want it no more. You want to pay me less. Okay. That sounds great. Let's just do it then."

So that's the stuff that I have to run into now that I'm kind of independent and doing my own thing. A lot of times I run into that, where people, what they do, which is what they're doing on this, they put my name on the card. They try to sell tickets as much as they can. Then they'll come back and say, "Well, listen, we can't pay you this much," and think that I'm going to go ahead and fight. Even if I don't fight, they've already got those ticket sales and they'll just blame it on me. They'll say, "Shamrock is a no-show."

Now I've got my work cut out for me to get that out there so that I can let people know that this was negotiated a long time ago, and these guys are in breach of contract, and they're the ones not holding up their end of the bargain. So, like I said, now I have to do my due diligence to let my fans and other people realize that, hey, this is the kind of stuff that goes on. Most of the time I wouldn't do that, but in this situation they keep selling tickets with me supposedly going to be there to fight. Then when I don't show, they're going to blame it on me.

Now that sounds reasonable enough, right? Just another run-of-the-mill mishap from a crooked local promotion.

But the thing is, Freeman took exception with Shamrock's excuses. So what did "The Machine" do? He stampeded straight to his Facebook page, of course, and posted this Takeover-esque response:

Well, everyone including myself, knew this fight was too good to be true as we know what a coward Shamrock is.

Not only is Shamrock a coward but he's also a thief. He accepted the fight, demanded $5,000 upfront as a deposit of trust, of which was sent, and now refuses to return the money.

Not only has he demanded that money up front but also ask for his purse and ticket deal to be paid "before" he fights and this money to be sent to an American bank.

Shamrock you are f--king delusional? What promoter pays a fighter before he fights and with your track record of being a bum, I'm not surprised the promoter said no.

UCFC bent over backwards to stick to your Diva demands but you bitched about everything. Even to the fact that they were advertising your name to sell tickets. Thats what every show in the world does dumb F--k. The fight was confirmed, and you signed and made a video signing the contract. Idiot.

You know I would have hurt you bad but you had to string everyone along after your WWE speech about wanting to fight me, so you had to play along with it. Now your making excuses saying the promoters are in breach of contract. Bulls--t. You had no intentions of fighting me. Your a fake, a crook and a liar. You even made an interview about not fighting me yesterday "without" telling the promotion you pulled out. That just shows what a professional knob you are.

Your over and I hope the rest of the world see this and realise you've lost the plot, your an idiot and I hope your never hired for anything again.

As far as I'm concerned, I have been training hard and ready to fight anyone. A replacement is confirmed and will be announced very soon. A fighter a lot tougher than Spamcock, but hey, I'm here to fight. Win or lose that's what I do.

I'm here to please My fans, not to let them down.

See you guys July 27th, Doncaster.

Ian "The Machine" Freeman.

Well, that was fun. No response yet from Shamrock at the time of this writing, but really, does it matter? A throw-the-mic-down rant let that pretty much wraps things up.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, back to Las Vegas and the man looking to dethrone the GOAT.

(Side note: No Morning Report tomorrow, but we'll be back in full force on Monday. Enjoy the holiday and enjoy the fights!)

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Silva, Weidman ready. Ahead of UFC 162, middleweight champ Anderson Silva discussed his legacy, his new 10-fight contract and desire to fight Roy Jones Jr., while Chris Weidman detailed a bizarre encounter he had with an overly aggressive Silva fan in Las Vegas.

MMA Roundtable. Yours truly joins Mike Chiappetta to debate the storylines of UFC 162, Dana White's recent rant on fighter pay, the future of Frankie Edgar and more on this weeks edition of the MMA Roundtable.

Barao vs. Wineland. Looks like Toronto gets two title fights in October, as UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland is back on for the co-main event of UFC 165.

TUF Nations tryouts. Duel tryouts for TUF Nations: Canada vs. Australia will be held Wednesday, September 11, 2013 in Sydney, Australia and Sunday, September 22, 2013 in Toronto, Canada for up-and-coming welterweight and middleweight fighters between the ages of 18-35 with no prior UFC experience.

Lombard's 170 debut. Hector Lombard takes on Nate Marquardt in a welterweight bout at UFC 166, scheduled for October 19 at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX.

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MEDIA STEW

"Anderson Silva's trying to showboat. Bonnar needs to somehow stay confident, or [Silva's] getting in his head. This is what Anderson's best at. He gets in his opponents heads, makes 'em feel like they have nothing for him. And then he strikes." -- Chris Weidman, watching Silva deconstruct Stephan Bonnar cageside.

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That poor fella just wanted to get to the airport. Guy had no idea the entire internet was about to see him fail.

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Evidence No. 436 of why you shouldn't wear wrestling shoes in the cage. Protip: It kinda lets the other guy know your gameplan.

(HT: Reddit)

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Back-to-back shows? You spoil us, Tommy.

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Okay, I don't even like pro wrestling, but this is gold.

(HT: Reddit)

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Who wants to end today's lineup with a brutal walkoff KO? Anyone? Yeah, let's do that. (For the lazy, jump to 4:30.)

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ASK THE CHAMP (FOR CONTEXT, FIRST QUESTION IS ABOUT SILVA)

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HAPPY B-DAY, AXE MURDERER

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MRS. CHAEL P. SONNEN

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GOIN' HOLLYWOOD

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ALMOST TIME

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Wednesday, July 3, 2013):

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day is a sobering dose of reality from DocCassidy: A Bridge Too Far: Fighter Pay in the UFC

One of the things I love about Pandora Radio is the opportunity to tune in to a comedy channel and listen to some standup comedians on the way home. It gets me laughing and relieves some stress so that by the time I get home, I'm in a good mood and ready to spend my evening with my family. Since I started to listen to that station, I've come to really appreciate the brilliance of Daniel Tosh's show. You may or may not think he's funny, but what I love about his show is that he incrementally pushes the line of what's funny and a joke, getting the audience to laugh at some insanely sexist and racist and crude stuff, then when the audience finally hears something that they just can't get behind he reminds them that earlier in the show the hypothetical rape was funny, so why isn't this particular joke about racial generalizations? It's brilliant in that he shines the light back on the audience and reminds them he's not the bad guy for telling the joke, but maybe we're not as clean as we want to be because we were laughing. Why was that joke a bridge too far?

That's how I feel about this fighter pay debate. If the standard show money for low level fighter is 6k to show and 6K to win, why is 8K or 9K or even 12K a bridge too far? What changes there? We can argue all day and night about contracts and how much the UFC makes and production costs. We could even have a more political argument about how much the UFC "deserves" to keep or "owes" its fighters, but none of those really address the problem. We're dancing around the subject at that point.

I'm more concerned about the visceral rejection of paying fighters more. As fight fans, for all intents and purposes we should be shrugging and going "Eh, fighters want more money" and move on, because it's not a subject that really involves us. Yes we can have an impact if we collectively demand that major fight promotions pay more, but, being real, it's not a subject that we're party to. Yet, across fandom, this is a divisive topic. Why are so many of us so against the idea of an increase in fighter pay? It won't affect the product. [Most likely] it won't increase costs to us. We have no skin in this game.

The people who do have skin, and blood and bones and tears and health, are saying that they'd like to be paid more and, unlike a lot of professions, they have an employer that could realistically increase the baseline pay with negligible effect to their bottom line. To me, it seems like a no-brainer: fighters can focus more on training, instead of hustling for pay, the PR coup would be ridiculous, and brand loyalty would be even more ensconced with fans and fighters and all for a negligible/ fractional increase in base pay. I believe it's been shown across the public and private sector that employees are exponentially more productive when they get paid enough by their one employer to live and take care of their families. When an employee doesn't have to juggle bills due to too low a pay or worry about a second job or worry about health care costs for them and the family, when an employer takes the stand that they will adequately compensate that employee for 100% loyalty and work effort, you get a workforce that wants to do its job and wants to do it well. This is not a new or radical concept.

How exactly did we get here, because I'm not seeing how this lack of empathy does anyone any good. Think about it every time you walk into Wal-Mart or McDonalds or Home Depot and remember that you're looking at someone who is, most likely, working for minimum wage (or less for restaurant servers), working a split shift that has them working a couple of flex periods during peak hours and inhibits them from finding another job, and/or working just enough hours to not qualify for benefits. I realize this isn't the same thing as fighting, but we're still talking about people who are trying to do the best they can with what they have and the moment we start saying "fuck your family, entertain me monkey", maybe we need to re-evaluate our values as a society and as fandom.

Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in Monday's column.

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