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Friday, Dec 21, 2012

Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Frank Shamrock Says “Strikeforce Was An Awesome Brand”

MMA Legend Frank Shamrock was crowned Strikeforce's first-ever world champion on March 10, 2006, the promotion's inaugural event. Photo courtesy of: James Manalisay/Strikeforce

By Joshua Molina

Frank Shamrock has no love for UFC President Dana White, but he is softening a bit when it comes to the UFC.

“They are unstoppable,” Shamrock told Full Contact Fighter in a recent interview.

And although he went years without watching the show, that’s now changed.

“They have been putting on some good shows on free TV,” Shamrock said.

But he draws the line somewhere.

“I’m not gonna pay to watch it,” he said.

Less than a month before Strikeforce’s final show, Shamrock, a UFC legend, shared some thoughts on the company and the world of MMA.

Shamrock was the first UFC Middleweight Champion. He upset Tito Ortiz early in Ortiz’s career and later went on to wany many MMA titles, including the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship.

He retired in 2010, after helping launch Strikeforce as a California promotion based out of San Jose.

Shamrock knocked out Cesar Gracie in the promotion’s debut show, which sold out the HP Pavilion, and set the attendance for the largest live audience in California MMA history.

“Strikeforce was an awesome brand,” said Shamrock, who battled Cung Le in 2008, in the battle of San Jose’s top local stars.

The fight was stopped after Le broke Shamrock’s arm with a vicious leg kick.

Shamrock went on to fight Nick Diaz, where he was TKO’d. He retired in 2010, in an emotional farewell in the center of the ring live on Showtime, the same night Fedor Emelianenko tapped out to Fabricio Werdum.

Shamrock received a standing ovation that night, a public recognition and show of thanks for one of the early guys who put the sport on the map.

Shamrock said he hopes Showtime will stick with MMA once the Zuffa-owned Strikeforce holds its last show on Jan. 12.

Showtime showed Elite XC fights before Strikeforce.

Shamrock said he doesn’t know what will happen with Showtime and MMA after the Strikeforce exodus, but that maybe “the third time will be a charm.”

Shamrock said he’s been “lining up his ducks,” for 2013, but didn’t reveal specifically what’s next. He said Showtime loves combat sports.  Shamrock also recently expanded his portfolio as a color commentator, calling fights for kickboxing powerhouse promotion GLORY.

He will keep following his favorite fighters in the UFC.

“I like Jon Jones,” he said. “I like Nick Diaz.”

And, yes, he’s a fan of Ronda Rousey.

“I think she’s going to be a superstar,” Shamrock said. “She gets it. She’s a real star.”

Even after Strikeforce’s demise, Shamrock has no regrets. Strikeforce became so popular it was purchased by the UFC. The company brought Emelianenko and put him on CBS, where he KO’d Brett Rogers, helped groom stars such as Jake Shields, Diaz, Gilbert Melendez, Alistair Overeem, Gegard Mousasi, Daniel Cormier, Luke Rockhold, Cung Le, and Rousey, the hottest star in MMA today.

“Strikeforce had a good run,” Shamrock.

posted by JoshuaM @ 7:49 pm
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