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Sunday, Aug 18, 2002

Frank-ly Speaking

By Loretta Hunt

Frank-ly Speaking
Injury Sidelines Shamrock’s Return, But Not His Spirit

"Talking on the phone seems to be my main purpose in life," laments Frank Shamrock from his office in San Jose, California. It’s been an eventful two weeks for the beloved former UFC champion, a roller coaster of developments that began with the long-awaited and highly-rumored announcement that was almost three years in the making — Frank Shamrock was returning to MMA competition. But just as quickly as the golden carrot was dangled in front of the masses of hungry fans, it was hastily snatched away. There was only a week to ponder and debate the possible outcomes of his match-up with Renzo Gracie black belt Ricardo Almeida at the World Extreme Cagefighting’s August 31st event, because fate obviously had other plans this time around. Shamrock had succumbed to the one thing he says he hates about the fight game — getting injured. With the realization that his return will be delayed, it would seem the undefeated 5-0 UFC veteran has some time on his hands… or does he?

Frank Shamrock
By now, the MMA world is quite familiar with the details of this untimely occurrence. It all started in training at the American Kickboxing Academy, as Shamrock fired off a right kick that caught training partner "Crazy" Bob Cook’s elbow. It registered with Shamrock immediately, as he had to stop to recover for twenty seconds, something he says he never does in sparring. Although in pain, Shamrock felt able to continue, and continue he did — for an entire week. "I even went to the St. Louis stadium where the Cardinals play and ran it," he recalls jovially. Although he couldn’t tie his shoes and the leg continued to swell, it wasn’t until a regular visit to his chiropractor that Shamrock began to fathom the scope of the damage received. Complaining of a focused pain in one area, the doctor decided to take an X-ray which immediately revealed a crack in the bone. With this knowledge, Shamrock admits he trained for one more day, but a persistent phone call from his chiropractor persuaded him to go to a specialist for treatment. The second X-ray revealed a clean break directly through his right fibula, and it was there he says that reality set in — he wasn’t going to be able to fight. The break could have been worse had the bone been displaced or moved — a small favor that will force Shamrock to sport a temporary "walking cast" over a cumbersome plaster one for the next month. Following that month, it will be approximately two weeks before Shamrock can start sparring again, and from there, he says, he will need about two months to get into fighting form again.

As he sits by the phone with his newfound friend (the cast he has already affectionately dubbed "Big Daddy"), Frank adds up the time in his head. "December or January," he blurts out, "but I don’t want to fight anywhere cold," he quickly adds. "I hate cold weather." His demeanor is cheerfully contagious for a man who just spent months of arduous training for a fight that is not going to happen. "I was feeling down for the first three days, mostly because I felt old. Then, I remembered that I’m not even thirty yet," he zips with his undeniable charm. It is a combination of charm and unquestionable talent that has propelled Frank to the top of the fighter chain and has kept him there, even in retirement.
Former UFC champion Frank Shamrock
One cannot help but think his small venue request can surely be accommodated for one of the sport’s most popular and revered fighters ever. Following a very healthy stint in Japan’s Pancrase organization (where he fought 3 wars with Bas Rutten), Frank went on to defeat Enson Inoue, Olympic Gold Medalist Kevin Jackson, Jeremy Horn, and Igor Zinoviev — to name a few. Having left the fight scene at the height of his popularity, moments after handing a young, brash Tito Ortiz a loss at UFC 22, Frank has room to negotiate.

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From Koichi "Booker K" Kawasaki:

K-1 WORLD GP 2002 in Las Vegas results:
"Big Daddy" KO’s Bernardo!

K-1 WORLD GP 2002 in Las Vegas

Date: Saturday, August 17th 2002
Place: Bellagio Hotel (Las Vegas/U.S.A)

8-MAN TOURNAMENT + Three SuperFights

1st match Tournament-1st Match
Michael McDonald VS Ricardo Duenas
Winner: Michael McDonald KO 1R 1:25

2nd match Tournament-2nd Match
Petr Vandrachek VS Tony Gregory
Winner: Tony Gregory KO 1R 2:48

3rd match Tournament-3rd Match
Adam Watt VS Pavel Mayer
Winner: Pavel Mayer decision 3R

4th match Tournament-4th Match
Andrew Thomson VS Errol Parris
Winner: Errol Parris KO 1R 2:59

5th match Super Fight-1
Ernesto Hoost VS Jan "The Giant" Nortje
Winner: Ernesto Hoost KO 1R 1:29

6th match Tournament Semi-Final 1st Match
Michael McDonald VS Tony Gregory
Winner: Michael McDonald decision 3R

7th match Tournament Semi-Final 2nd Match
Pavel Mayer VS Errol Parris
Winner: Pavel Mayer KO 1R 1:25

8th match Super Fight-2
Stefan Leko VS Remy Bonjasky
Winner: Stefan Leko decision 5R

9th match Super Fight-3
Mike Bernardo VS Gary Goodridge
Winner: Gary Goodridge KO 1R 1:38

10th match Tournament Final
Michael McDonald VS Pavel Mayer
Winner: Michael McDonald TKO 2R 1:01

*ESPN 2 will broadcast This event on August 26 or August 27.

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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