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Tuesday, Jul 05, 2005

Ken Shamrock Goes Reality Tv: New Pilot Documents Lion’s Den Reincarnation

Ken Shamrock Goes Reality TV:
New Pilot Documents Lion’s Den Reincarnation

By Derek Callahan

Independence Day weekend was a big one for Ken Shamrock. On Saturday July 2nd, the UFC legend teamed up with Valor Fighting to promote "Home of the Brave," an MMA event held on at the Diamond Mountain Casino reservation in his hometown of Susanville, CA. The next day, Shamrock held tryouts for his Lion’s Den fight team. During it all, cameras were rolling for a reality show pilot about Shamrock and the Lion’s Den.

Needless to say, things have been bustling for Shamrock, who fulfilled the last fight on his UFC contract with his April 9th loss to Rich Franklin on Spike TV during the finale of The Ultimate Fighter. "We’re full cookin’ it," said an optimistic Shamrock of the yet-to-be-titled reality show, which began filming during the weekend’s events, and has no timetable for its wrap.

With cameras continuing to capture the action on Sunday, eleven pre-selected fighters turned out to undergo the grueling all-day, military-inspired audition process Shamrock made famous in the 90’s with his original den of standouts in Lodi, California. Receiving over 120 submissions from advertisements placed on www.KenShamrock.com, the Lion’s Den patriarch invited his eleven hopefuls to Susanville from all parts of the country, with the farthest traveling applicant coming all the way from Switzerland.

Standouts for this first round of auditions included Rich Montoya, Philip Wyman (5-2), and Ash Bowman (0-2), according to Shamrock, who will hold four more separate auditions in the future to find a total of six fighters for the show. Like the earlier days in which Shamrock’s stable ate, slept, and trained together, the six finalists will all live together in a house in Susanville. Shamrock says he may also select up to eight more fighters to join the team as the program progresses.

With the success of TUF only months in the past, and with a second season in the making, it’s inevitable that comparisons will be made between shows. Shamrock, however, doesn’t buy into the links. "I don’t want to try and compare what we’re doing with the UFC. The UFC has a different agenda, different aspects of the reality show which is not ours," said the pioneer fighter. "Ours is gonna be based around my lifestyle, the way that I train fighters and live with my family being involved, and then following the career of fighters as we lead up to a grand finale at the end of the show."

In addition, the series may also focus on the crew Shamrock has assembled to mold his new young charges, many of them graduates of what has been credited as the first "official MMA training program" in America, and a prototype for the scores of fight teams that have followed. "It’s a possibility [that] we’ll be doing a life story of trainers and trainees from the Lion’s Den," said Shamrock.

With producer Scott Messick of Survivor fame on board, Shamrock sees a bright future for the show. "I think that we’re in a good spot. They’ve taken the time to make that huge first step to actually come out to film it," he said.

As for this past weekend’s "Home of the Brave," the card was Shamrock’s second foray into both promoting and matchmaking. "I’m learning a whole different side to the fighting world and I’m enjoying it," he said. Thinking ahead, one integral part of the show was the invitation extended to both the California and Nevada State Athletic Commissions, who both gave the finished product positive feedback, says Shamrock.

"We’re bringing [them in] so that they can see the type of event that we’re putting on so that when we do go to Nevada they are already familiar with the way that we run things. We want to let them see the professionalism of our show," said Shamrock.

The event was a bang-up way to start filming for a reality show, which followed into the high-energy Sunday tryouts.

"We’re looking for all the new faces that want to be a part of the Lion’s Den," said Shamrock. Shamrock sees the Lion’s Den hopefuls, as well as those on his promotion’s fight cards as, "a lot of young, good talent and that’s mainly what I want to do, build new talent."

From the event’s promoter:

Menne-Herman, 8-man Tourney Highlight Extreme Challenge 63

HAYWARD, Wis. — Dave Menne’s accomplishments in mixed martial arts will no doubt make him one of the sport’s all-time great fighters.

The problem is … he isn’t finished.

Menne, the first-ever UFC middleweight champion, says he is ready to resume fighting at the highest level after corrective eye surgery. Armed with 20/20 vision — it was 20/800 before the surgery — Menne hopes to earn his way back into the UFC by defeating Team Quest’s Ed Herman in the main event of Extreme Challenge 63 on July 23 at LCO Casino.

"For a couple years, Dave was fighting at an obvious disadvantage," said Team Extreme manager Monte Cox. "He would lose his contacts in the first minute or so of his fights and was basically fighting on instinct after that."

Herman will be no easy victim. The strong ground-and-pounder recently finished Nick Thompson in the first round and has built a solid 9-2 record.

Menne is 41-11-2 in his career and has won five bouts in row as he worked his way back for the fight with Herman.

Besides the main event, an 8-man middleweight tourney will feature many of the sport’s top up-and-comers. Brock Larson (9-0) of nearby Minneapolis is considered by most to be the favorite, but it is a field full of potential upsets.

The last Extreme Challenge 8-man tourney held at LCO Casino produced 6 UFC fighters, including UFC champions Matt Hughes and Dave Menne. Also in that tourney were UFC regulars Joe Doerksen, LaVerne Clark, Chris Lytle and Dave Strasser.

Main Event
Ed Herman (9-2) vs. Dave Menne (41-11-2)

8-man middleweight tournament
A Bracket
Ryan McGivern (4-0) vs. Tom Jones (4-2)
Joey Guel (7-3) vs. Chris Clements (2-0)

B Bracket
Damarcus Johnson (1-1) vs. Brock Larson (9-0)
Neal Rowe (3-0) vs. Ryan Jensen (4-0)

Alternate bout
Sean Huffman (5-4) vs. Eddie Sanchez (6-5)

From K-1:

Penn Tackles Another Gracie In Hawaii

Mixed martial arts superstar BJ Penn (9-2-1) will take on another member of martial arts fighting’s most heralded family in Renzo Gracie (10-5-1) at Honolulu, Hawaii’s 50,000 crowd capacity Aloha Stadium on Friday, July 29th. The bout, which will be presented as a featured contest during the K-1 "World Grand Prix 2005 in Hawaii" extravaganza, will premiere on Pay Per View television along with the remainder of the card on Sunday, July 31st.

Penn’s appearance in his home state will be his second in a period of eight months. On November 20th of last year, he defeated Renzo’s cousin, Rodrigo Gracie, by way of unanimous judges’ decision at Honolulu’s Blaisdell Center.

Penn’s latest challenger is an eight-time veteran of Japan’s Pride Fighting Championship and the owner of a fifth degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the style of combat founded by his grandfather, Carlos Gracie. The matchup with Penn will mark Gracie’s first start since October 5, 2003 when he lost a split decision to former UFC welterweight crown holder, Carlos Newton. During his 13 year professional career, Gracie has claimed wins over the likes of martial arts fighting legends Maurice Smith and Oleg Taktarov.

Last year, Penn defected from The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he had reeled off six of his nine career victories, to the K-1 organization that recently expanded its repertoire of combat sports promotions to include mixed martial arts competition. Penn’s dramatic career move came shortly after he had made a jump from the UFC’s 154-pound limit division to its 168-pound class and easily defeated the heavier weight category’s reigning champion, Matt Hughes, by way of rear naked choke.

K-1 "World Grand Prix 2005 in Hawaii" will also feature an eight-man, single-elimination tournament and a pair of "Superfights" that will be contested under the promotion’s traditional, stand-up fighting rules. Amongst the talent enlisted for the tournament affair are 2003 K-1 USA champion, Carter Williams; UFC and Rumble on the Rock veteran Wesley "Cabbage" Correira; and "Big Daddy" Gary Goodridge. In Superfight action, four-time K-1 Japan Grand Prix tournament winner, Musashi, will meet Sweden’s Richard Nordstrand while sumo wrestling legend turned K-1 fighter Akebono will do battle with 7 foot 2 inch giant, Hong Man Choi, who captured the K-1 Grand Prix tournament championship in Seoul, Korea earlier this year.

From the event’s promoter:


MONTREAL (CANADA), July 4th, 2005 – TKO Major League MMA would like to announce the following changes to their TKO 21 fight card scheduled for Friday, July 15th, 2005 in Montreal, Canada. TKO Super Lightweight Champion, Mark Hominick has been forced to withdraw from his clash with TKO’s number one contender, Ryan Diaz. Team Tompkins was regretful to inform the TKO organization of an injury that occurred in the workplace to Hominick’s finger. Tompkins was adamant in expressing their respect for Ryan Diaz and they promised that once the healing of Hominick’s finger is complete, TKO fans will be able to witness another great showdown between these two exceptional athletes. Recognizing the importance that this fight had to its fans, TKO vigorously sought suitable alternatives. TKO believes they have successfully accomplished this task with the addition of welterweight sensation, Jonathan Goulet and "Mr. International", Shonie Carter to their TKO 21 fight card!

JONATHAN GOULET (12-5-0) will collide with a very experienced fighter, KYLE JENSEN (34-7-1). Goulet is considered by many to be the next big thing coming from north of the forty-ninth parallel. At TKO 20, he effectively served the MMA world notice with his stunning and very bloody victory over UFC veteran Tony Fryklund. He comes into this fight riding a seven fight, two year long winning streak which also includes a dominating performance over the highly touted, John Alessio and a spectacular seven second knockout of Joey Brown. Jensen is an exciting fighter who brings the attitude of "someone is going to get knocked the f—out" each time he steps into the ring. Rarely do his fights go to decisions and at the end of the day the fans always come out victorious.

SHONIE CARTER (29-13-6) will square off against Canadian standout, JASON MacDONALD (8-4-0). Carter is a very skilled veteran who has fought the best MMA competition all over the world, including five times in the UFC. This will be a true test for MacDonald who is looking to prove that he deserves to be placed amongst the elite. Not to worry if you missed the Canada Day celebrations because there will be plenty of guaranteed fireworks in this match-up!

In total, there are ten terrific fights scheduled for TKO 21! The fight card will culminate with the highly anticipated TKO Lightweight Championship between the savvy veteran DONALD OUIMET (10-3-0) and the young phenom, SAM STOUT (6-1-1)! Order your tickets now through the TKO Ticket office (1-866-445-8886). All tickets will be sent by priority courier. Tickets are going at high-speed, so please hurry and reserve your seats for this brilliant event!



posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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