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Ken Shamrock would still like rematches with Tito Ortiz, Royce Gracie

LOS ANGELES -- The potential of fighting Kimbo Slice is one of the things that drew Ken Shamrock out of retirement. The MMA pioneer felt like he had unfinished business with the man he was supposed to face in 2008 before sustaining a cut right before the fight.

Shamrock will meet Kimbo Slice in the main event of Bellator 138 on June 20 in St. Louis. But "The World's Most Dangerous Man" doesn't plan on it being a one-off. Win or lose, he'd like to get back in the Bellator cage again. And rematches with Tito Ortiz and Royce Gracie would be at the top of his wish list.

Both men are currently affiliated with Bellator, too. Ortiz remains an active fighter and Gracie is a promotional ambassador.

"That right there, if I could get that fight to happen with where I'm at today and where [Ortiz] is at today, it would be awesome," Shamrock said at a recent Bellator media day in Hollywood.

Shamrock and Ortiz had one of the greatest rivalries in MMA history. Their second fight, at UFC 61 in July 2006, drew an estimated 775,000 pay-per-view buys, according to MMAFighting.com's Dave Meltzer as the co-main event on a card that also featured Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski for the heavyweight title. The third fight at UFC Fight Night 6.5 in October 2006 garnered 5.7 million viewers on Spike TV, making it still one of the most watched MMA fights ever on cable television.

However, Ortiz has beaten Shamrock three times, every one of them by stoppage. Shamrock understands if Ortiz wouldn't want to do it for a fourth time and the two are friendly nowadays -- all the bad blood that fueled previous fights is gone.

"I'm not challenging him in any sort of way," Shamrock said. "I respect what he's done. I don't want to go back to where we were at. And if this fight did ever happen it wouldn't be the same fight. It wouldn't be this, 'I hate you and I'd piss on your grave.' We're beyond that. It would definitely be something that I would appreciate if he did. But he doesn't have to. He beat me three times and he beat me fair and square."

Shamrock, 51, always thinks about those fights, though, and what he could have done differently. The UFC Hall of Famer also wasn't in the best mindset, he said, because he was dealing with his father's illness. He feels the same way about his two past fights with Gracie.

At UFC 1, Gracie famously defeated Shamrock via submission in just 57 seconds in the semifinals of the first UFC one-night tournament in 1993. The two men fought to a draw at UFC 5 in 1995, but Shamrock believes he destroyed Gracie. There were no judges at the time -- a finish was required to win -- and Gracie refused to go into an overtime period after fighting for 36 minutes.

"He still believes that fight was a draw and it is, on the record," Shamrock said. "And so it would just really be nice to be able to go back there."

For the trilogy fight to happen, Shamrock said Gracie would have to be wearing a gi. That would be illegal under current MMA rules.

"I will make sure that he got to wear the gi," Shamrock said. "If you beat him without the gi, you didn't beat Royce Gracie. That's how he won all the titles.

"When you take the gi off of him, you're not fighting that guy that did all that. You're fighting half the guy that did all that. If they offered me the fight without the gi, I'd say no. Because if I beat him, I didn't beat him. So it would definitely be with the gi on."

Shamrock would love for either of those rematches to come to fruition. But he's been training hard for Slice and that's the bout that brought him out of retirement. The California native hasn't competed in MMA since 2010.

"You can't look past what you got in front of you," Shamrock said. "The minute you do that, you jinx yourself. I believe in jinxes."

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