Fighting at 51, Ken Shamrock Recalls Career’s Most Brutal Bout

Ken Shamrock and Kimbo Slice, boasting a combined 92 years, fight tonight in a battle for of the ages on Bellator MMA’s Friday Spike TV broadcast.

When Breitbart Sports caught up with Shamrock earlier this spring, we coaxed him into reliving 24 brutal minutes of his 51 years. Bellator’s promotional people had cut the lights and tried to cut short the interview. But, in the dark and with a PR guy hectoring, we forced a final question on Shamrock about his 2002 Pride battle with Don Frye.

Shamrock nearly removed Frye’s ankle with numerous heel hooks. Frye knocked Shamrock to the deck with a series of punches. And by the end of the classic fight, both men vigorously applied ankle locks but neither man tapped.

“After that fight, I had injuries,” Ken Shamrock tells Breitbart Sports about the split-decision loss. “I tore my knee. I had problems going even with the Tito [Ortiz] fight, all three of the Tito fights. I had surgeries to try to correct some of those injuries. I didn’t give myself time to rest and heal up because I was in the middle of trying to help build the UFC so it wouldn’t go under.”

The referee raised Frye’s hand. But then Frye fittingly raised Shamrock’s hand. Like so many fights which in the eyes of fans neither man really lost, both men lost much. Frye developed a dependence on painkillers. Ken Shamrock, 25-7-2 coming into the fight with victories over Bas Rutten and Dan Severn, suffered a 3-8 record in the fights since.

The Frye fight might serve as a metaphor for the 51-year-old’s continuing career. The guy just refuses to tap out.

Was the Don Frye bout the most brutal of the World’s Most Dangerous Man’s career? “Yes,” Shamrock told Breitbart Sports, “pretty close.”