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Jarno
22-09-2004, 17:12
BoxingInsider.com: Ken, you were in attendance at UFC 49, what did you think of Randy Couture’s performance in the main event against Vitor Belfort?

Ken Shamrock: Randy is very good at what he does and Vitor really never got off. I saw him kind of hesitating on throwing his punches. I saw a couple of times Randy coming in and challenging Vitor to throw punches and I think Vitor threw a punch maybe one time and I think that was an uppercut. But other than that, Randy challenged him straight up coming straight in and Vitor never answered his challenge. He basically let Randy lock up with him. He did a great job defending in the first round. Then, after that, it was Randy’s way. Randy just kept closing distance, tying up, sweeping him and taking him to the ground and ground and pounding him. So Vitor never got into a rhythm, never got punches off, never challenged Randy.

BoxingInsider.com: So, would you say that Randy’s success came from him being so suffocating or was it that Vitor just couldn’t find a way to get into his rhythm or was it some sort of combination?

Ken Shamrock: Well, you know, if you watch the fight very closely, you can see Randy coming straight in and I think Vitor probably threw maybe two punches total in the three rounds when Randy was coming in. Vitor never sidestepped. So, even though Randy is very good at what he does, Vitor never challenged him in the sense of trying to throw some combination punches and moving side to side and moving his feet, being a harder target for Randy to tie up with. He was an easy target to come in close and clinch because Randy never had to worry much about getting punched. I just don’t think Vitor put his hands together and I don’t think he did any side-to-side movement. I watched the fight over again and I saw a guy standing flat-footed and waiting for the clinch.

BoxingInsider.com: Quite a few people now are presenting Randy with a tremendous amount of accolades, saying that he’s one of the best of all time and such. Do you feel that this prestige is well deserved? Is Randy one of the greatest of all time or is he just a great dominating fighter?

Ken Shamrock:I think that the few things that Randy does, he does very well. In order to beat Randy, you don’t let him control the pace of the fight. The couple of times that I saw Randy lose, I saw him lose to Ricco Rodriguez and he was basically dominating Ricco and physically something happened and his arms went limp. The other time that I saw him lose was to Josh Barnett when he got taken down and put on his back. That’s what happened with Ricco. Ricco took him down and put him on his back. You have to take the fight to Randy; you have to take the pace to Randy. If you wait for him, he’s going to control the fight. He’s going to push the pace. You have to back Randy up; you have to get after him. I thought that’s what Vitor might do in this fight, but he didn’t. He was just kind of waiting for that one shot or whatever and that’s just not going to come with Randy; he’s too smart.

BoxingInsider.com: Wanderlei Silva was also in attendance at UFC 49 and lots of people of brought up the “what if? idea of Wanderlei facing Randy. I think that, realistically, the relationship between Pride and the UFC is such that it’s probably not going to happen any time soon. What about a Randy Couture versus Ken Shamrock fight? Is that something that you would like to see happen?

Ken Shamrock: Randy is a great fighter. You know, I’ve definitely earned my reputation and Randy’s earned his reputation. I respect him as a fighter and also as a person. Randy always wants to fight the best, to be the best and that’s the same way that I think. I don’t want to just be a gym fighter or a guy that goes by just making a living;

I’m going to step up to the best guy that there is out there. That’s the way I am and that’s the way Randy is. So, I would imagine that somewhere along the line our paths are going to cross and it’s going to happen. If we both continue to win, then it’s got to happen.

BoxingInsider.com: That said, when do you think you’ll be back in the ring working on that win streak?

Ken Shamrock: I’m trying to put something together for December.

BoxingInsider.com: Are you going to be physically ready for that?

Ken Shamrock: Yeah, absolutely, I’ll be ready. I’m pretty good at healing fast. I knew what my knee did; I was back in the ring fighting in 8 months. The shoulder is going to be no different.

BoxingInsider.com: Let’s talk about your knee for a minute. Did you feel any affects of the ACL surgery when you stepped back in the cage to face Kimo?

Ken Shamrock: Yes, for the better. I was able to spin him off into the fence. I was able to use more knees. I had better balance than before the surgery. The injury took away a lot of my ability while standing; I feel like I’ve gotten a lot of that back. I felt really good in that fight and I got tested with Kimo pushing on me and backing me into the fence. I was able to spin out and put him into the fence and use pretty effective knees on him. I felt that in that fight I really got to see how well my knee had come back. I was really, really pleased.

BoxingInsider.com: Staying on Kimo for just a moment, do you have any thoughts on him testing positive for steroids.

Ken Shamrock: When I go into the ring and I fight the guy that they put in there against me. I talk trash before the fight; I’ll do whatever I can before the fight to get into my opponent’s head. I have a lot of strategy before a fight and I like to see who my opponent is. When a fight’s over, there’s nothing more to say. Whatever has happened to Kimo, that’s a problem that he has to deal with and I can’t make any comment on it. I don’t feel that it’s my place. I move on and he has to deal with his problem.

BoxingInsider.com: You had surgery just a couple of weeks ago on your rotator cuff, correct?

Ken Shamrock: Actually, it wasn’t the rotator cuff; it was the labrum. There was a tear in the labrum and some bone spurs, so I had it cleaned up. It was a scope; they went in four different places. They shaved the bone off and they cleaned up the labrum. It was a lot better than they had expected. They thought they were going to have to put a couple of stitches in there, but they didn’t have to. That cuts my recovery time down.

BoxingInsider.com: How’s the rehab going?

Ken Shamrock: It’s great. I started doing some weights, doing some legs. Today I started doing some light, light bench. It’s sore, but I’m able to do some weight on there, get the mobility, and get the blood flowing in there again.

BoxingInsider.com: When do expect to be training at 100% again?

Ken Shamrock: I would say, probably 2 to 3 weeks, I should be hitting the weights pretty hard and getting my size and strength back.

BoxingInsider.com: Wow, the surgery must have went very well.

Ken Shamrock: Yeah, it did. When I had the torn ACL, it was completely torn. They had to go in there and take part of my patella and they put a screw in the top and the bottom to attach it to my knee and eight months later, I’m in the ring fighting. I was training about 2 or 3 months after the surgery, so I heal pretty fast.

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BoxingInsider.com: It sounds like physically, December isn’t a problem for you. Is it just a matter of putting something together with the UFC?

Ken Shamrock: Yeah, absolutely. I understand that they’re going to be in Japan, so I think that would be a great spot for me to go and fight. I have a lot of popularity there as I do here in the States. It’s just finding the right opponent and going in there and getting it on.

BoxingInsider.com: Tito Ortiz is already set to fight your teammate Guy Mezger in October and it sounds as if he may be fighting Vitor Belfort in December, if that is the case, who would you like to see as an opponent for yourself in December?

Ken Shamrock: There are a couple names out there I’d like to face. I like Don Frye for a rematch. That’s something I’ve definitely got in the back of my mind because I want revenge. That’s just something that I’ve had in my mind, if we’re going to go to Japan, that would be a great spot for a rematch. I’m sure that when talks begin, there’ll be some other names brought up.

BoxingInsider.com: What about Tito Ortiz?

Ken Shamrock: Tito Ortiz is definitely one the guys I want to get in the ring with again. Tito Ortiz is definitely the number one priority on my list. Guy Mezger is going to get him first, so maybe Guy will do the work for me. I believe that he has the ability to.

BoxingInsider.com: Even if Guy goes in and beats Tito, do you still want that rematch?

Ken Shamrock: I think enough said on that, unless of course it makes sense. We’ll see what happens with this fight and go from there. I’m training Guy for this fight and if he goes in and he beats him, I’m definitely going to want to take some steps back for my own ego. If he’s been beat three times in a row, I think I need to move forward. I won my last one and hopefully I’ll get Don Frye on my next one and we’ll just go from there.

BoxingInsider.com: Going back to UFC 49, how did you feel that Vernon [White] did in his fight with Chuck Liddell?

Ken Shamrock: Vernon came to fight. Those two guys went at it, but Chuck Liddell was the more professional fighter in there. From what I know of Vernon and what Battalia and Erik have taught him, the way that he fought in that fight is not the way that he had been training. I think that the hype and the pressure got the best of him. He went in and he threw down. That’s all good for the fans, but it doesn’t equal out in percentages of winning a fight when you’re fighting a power-puncher like Chuck. You need to stick and move; you pick your shots and move your head and be a smart fighter. Vernon went in with the ego of just trying to knock him out and it didn’t work out for him.

BoxingInsider.com: Did Vernon train with you for this fight?

Ken Shamrock: He didn’t train with me, not one day because my dad had went into the hospital and had open-heart surgery. He had his sixth bypass. It was pretty serious. He’s good now; he’s home and recovering. That happened about 6-8 weeks out from the fight and that’s when Vernon basically started his training. I left him in good hands and I talked to him every day about his training. At first, they were a little bit disappointed in his training, but in the end, they were pretty happy with it. When the fight started, Vernon lost his focus. Like I said, he wasn’t afraid. When he got dropped, he got up, he kept coming after Chuck, but that’s not the kind of fight that we wanted from him. We wanted more of a smart fight.

BoxingInsider.com: There’s also been some mention that Chuck possibly thumbed him in the eye. What are your thoughts on that?

Ken Shamrock: This is a game that we play and things happen. If I was going to complain about that, I would probably look pretty stupid just because if somebody can punch me in the eye with their thumb, I’m not moving my head. If they did it on purpose, they’ve got to be one of the best boxers in the world to be able to hit me in the eye with their thumb. Not to say that it didn’t happen because I know that it did happen and it did drop Vernon. It was a thumb and it did damage his eye, but it was not intentional. It was just one of those things that happen. That’s happened to Chuck twice now. He did it once with Tito and now with Vernon. It’s just one of those things, that’s just the way that Chuck punches. It’s not like he’s sticking a finger out and poking him in the eye. He’d break his thumb. People don’t have that good of aim.

BoxingInsider.com: Any final thoughts on UFC 49?

Ken Shamrock: I just think that Randy is, without a doubt, one of the most disciplined fighters in the UFC. He comes out and has a game plan for every fighter. I’m impressed with the way that he keeps himself motivated. He keeps himself focused and he’s got a lot of heart.

BoxingInsider.com: Before I let you go, I hear that you’ve got a new clothing line coming out. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Ken Shamrock: Yeah, it’s the Lion’s Den clothing line. We’ve got dress shirts, golf shirts, shorts, training shorts and training shirts, hats. We’ve got some really nice button up shirts, some pullovers. We’re going to be putting that out on our web site, KenShamrock.com. There’s a lot of really good stuff on there and we’re probably going to get that out in the next month.