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Morning Report: Ken Shamrock laughs off BMF title: ‘You guys are wearing four-ounce gloves and you fight one time a night, every six months to a year’

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This past weekend, Jorge Masvidal was crowed the inaugural (and theoretically only ever) BMF champion when he defeated Nate Diaz by cut stoppage at UFC 244. The BMF title came from the imagination of Nate Diaz who called out Masvidal after beating Anthony Pettis at UFC 241 and fans were so enamored with the idea that Dana White got behind it, creating a real belt that would be fought for as a one-off. But, it turns out, not everyone was in love with the idea.

UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock is one of the men most credited with the early rise and success of the UFC. A participant in the very first UFC, Shamrock went on to to win the inaugural Superfight championship (which would later become the heavyweight championship), and to hear Shamrock tell it, the BMF combatants, while great athletes and fighters, are a far shot from what he’d consider a truly bad motherf*cker.

“It’s funny to hear these guys talk about toughness and being tough and being bad,” Shamrock told Ariel Helwani of ESPN recently. “It’s like, man, if they only knew what went through in those beginning days, with no training, there was no map of how to train. There were guys that would go to the park and get in fights with people in order to get training, real training in. You’ve seen a lot of guys that would just do a road tour. They’d drive from one end of California to the other end and they would stop at different places and do fights on these different promotions in the beginning days when there was promotions everywhere. They would drive across country just hitting every stop and fighting at them, just to get the training in.”

Aside from his in-cage accolades, Shamrock was a trailblazer for MMA. He created one of the first truly MMA-specific training teams, The Lion’s Den, which went on to dominate many early UFC events. Shamrock went on to say that The Lion’s Den came about as a result of not being able to do proper training anywhere and having to learn by fighting and so that’s why he’s dismissive of the BMF title.

“There was no map,” Shamrock said. “There was no way of real training. Obviously, early on we were able to develop a way to do that but for most guys you used to hear stories like that all the time about how guys would go to the park and fight or they’d take fights anywhere just so they can actually get in and get a fight somewhere where they really knew what they were doing because back in the day when I was over in Japan, before they even started the UFC, I couldn’t get anybody to train with me. I would go into karate schools and boxing schools, they were striking and you’d take them down and they’d be like ‘No, what are you talking about’ or I’d get a wrestler and say ‘Shoot on me, I’m not gonna knock you out but I’m gonna punch you.’ There was nobody to do that so I had to open a gym and slowly start training people.

“So for them to start talking about being a Bad MF, I just kinda laugh and go, oh my gosh, you guys are wearing four-ounce gloves, you fight one time a night, every six months to a year. Really? [Laughs] Come on.”


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The A-Side Live Chat.

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Heavy Hands. Discussing UFC 244 and Zabit vs. Katter.

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For the record, Ken Shamrock finished his career with a record of 28-17-2. Jorge Masvidal’s is 35-13.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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