How UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock became ‘The world’s most dangerous man’


KEN SHAMROCK: This
TV station came in. And they were highlighting the
world’s most dangerous food, animal, places, and person. And they elected
me as their person as the world’s
most dangerous man. You got to remember. Back in the day, this was
in ’94, I believe, it was. We weren’t looked at very well. We were like people that were
animals and human cockfighting. And so we weren’t getting
a lot of pleasant reviews. So when they came and
wanted to do the story, I basically was like, hold up. What’s your angle? Because I had three kids,
obviously, and a family. And I didn’t want to
drag them through any unnecessary public criticism. What they wanted to
do, which I think turned the tide of how people
looked at us, we became human. We became no different than
what the rest of people are doing out there. We just did something
different for our job. And it added some humanity to
who we were, and what we were. We weren’t these people
that came out of prison, and we were killing people. There was a constant
battle and a constant war. That’s kind of that
area that we lived in, Georgia, where I grew up. And at a young age of constantly
fighting people, and constantly in and out of trouble. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty. And we moved in Napa, which
was more middle class. And it was pretty much
predominantly African-American in where I lived
that in Georgia, and then we moved to this
all white neighborhood. I remember being there. I did not fit in. I did not relate well to people. I didn’t understand the culture. I dressed differently. I acted differently. I talked differently. And I remember in
school, my first day, I was in grade school. And these kids started
talking about me. I was 10 years old at this
time, and I saw them talking. And I saw the crowds
start to gather. I just put my back
up against the wall, because I knew that something
was going to happen. At least I had some
protection, so these kids started walking up. And I remember in
my mind, I’m like, OK, I’ve got to figure out
which one of these guys is the alpha male. Which one of these
guys is the leader? So we started talking
about, well, after school, where going to meet behind
the gym at three o’clock, and we’re going to fight.
And I was like– I don’t understand that, right? This never happened where I was
at, but he said the word fight. Now I knew that, and I hit him. And as I hit him, he went down. And I started kicking him, face,
body, everywhere, because I didn’t want him to get up. I knew I had a couple
other I had to deal with. So as I’m kicking him, I’m
waiting for me to get hit. Because I know I’m
going to get hit. As soon as I feel
that punch, I’m punching in the same direction. I’m 10 years old. Nobody hits me, so I look up. And these guys are running. They’re gone. I got sent home from
school, first day. And that’s where
I knew who I was, and what I was going to be. There was no love.
I don’t remember being hugged. I don’t remember being
told, I love you. I don’t remember
any of that stuff. So what that did was that– you know, you have a couple of
different kinds of characters, right? One of them is like
they feel victimized. And the other character is the
one that does the victimizing, which is what I became. Because I wasn’t going to
allow somebody to victimize me. When I finally got the
chance to fight them, where it was going to be even,
mono, like there was no family involved. It was just me and
him in the ring. He knees me in the nuts,
and the ref doesn’t see it. They raise his hand. And then he goes into
the press conference, and says, well, that’s
how we used to fight. Like he did it on purpose. And so it was one
of those things, when people mentioned
his name, I respect him. I respect him as a fighter,
and what he did for the sport, and what he did with
beating a lot of guys. But on the flip side of that,
I also know what kind of person he is outside the ring. And that I can’t see
anybody accepting a win, knowing that you landed a low
shot, knowing that you did that. And then you’re just saying,
oh, yeah, I beat him. The company could not
pay me what I needed to. I had Fighters House. I had gyms. I had family. I had a group home for kids, all
these things I was supporting. And I wasn’t able to make the
money I needed to, because they were constantly in
and out of court trying to get fights to go
on in these different states. So they were just
spending a lot of money. And I remember when
my time came up, I was promised a certain
thing for a contract. And Bob Myers came
to me and said, hey, you know, we just don’t
have the money right now. We’re constantly in
and out of court. I can’t pay you what you need. And I said, well, I
understand that, Bob. I do. I truly do, but I got
to do something else. Because I can’t support
my family with what I’m going to be getting, and I
said that would be a problem. I said, but I’m going
to go do something. And we get this thing figured
out and it starts rolling, I’ll come back. So that’s when I went
into pro wrestling. Training with Bret Hart
helped me understand the psychology of wrestling. And how to take that
world’s most dangerous man, and be able to put it
in a pro wrestling ring. And that’s what I
took most from Bret. When he talked to me, he was
like, don’t be these guys. Be you. So when I went in against Vader
in the very first match there, we went at it. Great match. I enjoyed it, fans loved it, and
that was an experience for me. Because then I got
an understanding about what I really needed
to do to be a pro wrestler. Things that didn’t happen I
thought should have happened. There’s Brock Lesnar. There’s Kurt Angle. The one thing I can say that can
still happen would be The Rock. The Rock is somebody
that I respect and have always respected. Because we cut our teeth
on one another, and really built our characters and
our careers together. And I’ve always thought that
I missed that opportunity to go up and really come
after that heavyweight belt. And it would be, you know,
The Rock, and Stone Cold, and Bret Hart, and myself. And there would be like
this four way thing that we would just kind
of go after each other, and it just never happened. It just stopped. When I had blown my knee
out, from that point on, I was never the same. I could never shoot
like I was used to, never could do submissions
like I used to. Start started losing
fights, but in my mind, I always felt like
it overcome it. I kept trying to, because
that’s my mentality. I’ll never give up. I’ll always keep trying
to find a way to win. I don’t quit.
I keep trying. I’d always had been
under a doctor’s care, growth hormone,
and testosterone for TRT replacement. Especially as I got into my 40s,
you know, I started regressing, injuries, and stuff like that. So I went into a doctor,
and he started putting me on these different things. And it helped me
actually regress my age and be able to still
keep competing. But I had to go off before we
go in there and fight, you know? So on the off season, I would
do that just for my health. I didn’t realize when I
was going into fight Kimbo that in Texas,
normally, they just don’t do drug tests, right? And so I thought I’d
just stay on my medical that I was already on, and then
I would just go in and fight. And I would be fine. Well, come to find
out, they were testing, so I had three
weeks prior to that. So I tried to come off. And I started doing
all the cardio, and sweating, and
doing everything I can to try to get everything out. And like I said, it
was very minimal. It’s just enough that being
under doctor’s care, that would help me slow down the
radical development in getting old. And it just didn’t
work out that. Just recently, I
went up to Columbia. David Truitt, who introduced
me to these stem cells, and I went up there
and did this stem cell treatment bio accelerator. And it’s been a game
changer, and it is the best decision I have ever made. Because it’s almost like
it’s put me 20 years back. I couldn’t raise my
hand above my head. My knees were aching. I had to be on all these
anti-inflammatory’s. I’m off. I don’t take any of that stuff,
and it’s just been amazing. I always tell people,
I’m not going to retire, because that’s– I mean, other
people, that’s fine. But for me, it’s quitting. I can’t do it. I can say that I’m
not going to fight. I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to do that. But I will always mentally be in
it, even though I’m not in it. Yeah, what I want is for people
to know that I gave it my all. You know, when I walked in
there, I put on a fight. It didn’t matter how old. It didn’t matter
how young I was. It didn’t matter what
the opponent was. I came into fight, and then
I always throughout my career wanted to make sure that
the fans appreciated me. I want to make sure they
liked what I was doing, and if they didn’t, find
a way for them to do that. I want people to know
that, that I cared.

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