Opinion: Ken Shamrock and One Too Many Comebacks
By Jesse Heitz
Recently it has been announced that MMA pioneer, Ken Shamrock, is looking to return to the cage once again, this time to face fellow MMA veteran Ian Freeman in Britain. The 49 year-old legend, like many veteran fighters long-passed the twilight of their careers often do, has stated that he still has a second wind left in him, and is going to showcase it in his July tussle with Freeman.
Shamrock himself tweeted several comments on his “comeback” stating,
“It is going to be my redemption! Tour i am going to make a statement for all the bad fights i have had in the last few years. I can’t. Tell you why i had those bad fights but you will ask after you see my performance against ian and then people will listen to me and know it is not just making excuses why i did not perform”
“Well i am going to fight ian just trying to see the proposal make sure that everybody is happy on mon. I will get the proposal in front of me and look it over. And hopefully sighn it so i can start amp up my training”
“i will retire if i dont perform the way i know i can but you need to support me if i thump him the way i know. I will God bless”
Shamrock has long been a walking punch line for many MMA fans and writers, which is a shame given the ferocious competitor he once was. I’ve seen some articles which have label his chin as being held together by “pieces of broken glass and chewed bubble gum”. People have touted that his only fighting success in the past few years was a tussle with some ladies inside a California mall. While I don’t endorse the rather harsh comments and opinions that others have publicly shared and find them downright disrespectful, I do believe that it’s time for Shamrock to hang up his gloves.
Indeed, this is always a tricky issue to approach. When is it acceptable for one man to tell another that his time has come and that he no longer has the tools necessary to compete in the sport he loves? In this writer’s opinion, the time for such brutal honesty has come. Unfortunately, an aging fighter can’t survive on warrior spirit and pride alone. I’d love for Ken Shamrock to score a win over Ian Freeman and be in the position to retire on a high note, but I think the chances of such an event are slim at best.
I admire the passion of Ken Shamrock, and I applaud and appreciate the blood and sweat that “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” has poured into the sport. However, if we’re being both objective and realistic, Shamrock hasn’t looked good in nearly a decade. His body has taken untold sums of abuse over a particularly long career. Simply put, it’s time for Shamrock to concentrate on teaching the up-and-comers the ropes of MMA, but more importantly, it’s time for one of MMA’s founding fathers to relax and enjoy the blossoming of the sport he helped to create.