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EliteXC Confident Ken Shamrock Will Be Cleared to Fight Kimbo Slice

After I questioned today whether Ken Shamrock could be medically cleared to fight Kimbo Slice on October 4, I spoke with EliteXC Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen, who told me he's confident that the 44-year-old Shamrock will get approval of the Florida State Boxing Commission.

"We're concerned about all of our fighters, we always want to make sure they're healthy," Lappen said. "We're confident that Ken is going to pass his physical exams. ... When anybody fights you have to make sure they're OK to fights, and that's the commission's responsibility."

Lappen noted that Shamrock was cleared to fight Tito Ortiz twice in 2006, once in Florida and once in Nevada.

"He got approved by Florida and approved by Nevada, two of the top athletic commissions in the country," Lappen said.

In talking to Lappen, I noted that Shamrock has lost five straight fights by first-round knockout or technical knockout. Lappen, however, said that's not as bad as it sounds.

"The only people he's lost to are legendary, best-in-the-world type fighters ... Tito Ortiz, Sakuraba and Rich Franklin, and Franklin couldn't even walk the next day. If Kimbo beats Shamrock, he's entering some pretty illustrious company there."

Lappen did acknowledge that in Shamrock's most recent fight, against Robert Berry, he lost to someone who is not considered a high-quality opponent, but Lappen said, "He was very sick. He had a viral infection a lot of people wouldn't have fought with, but he didn't want to let anyone down."

I told Lappen that Kimbo is expected to be a 5-1 favorite against Shamrock, and Lappen said, "That's surprising to me. I would never count out somebody like Ken. You're talking about a guy who's had only three professional fights going against somebody who's had more than 40 and beaten a lot of the best in the world. ... I think a lot of people give Shamrock a good chance of winning. He's got a lot more experience than Kimbo, he's good on the ground, and Kimbo hasn't had a lot of experience on the ground."

Asked what the reaction has been to the Shamrock-Kimbo fight, Lappen said, "I think it's been positive. People are excited about the fight. The legend from the street against the legend from the cage. It's a huge fight for both of them."