Ken Shamrock has been eyeing for a fight with MMA veteran Royce Gracie for more than 20 years now. Gracie was able to win at UFC 1 back in 1993, and again at UFC 5 two years later. His second fight was an amazing 30-minute draw.
Shamrock has always wanted to get his reputation back. Gracie, on the other hand, has always been ambivalent.
Now that Gracie vs. Shamrock will finally happen as the main card event this coming Feb 19th at Bellator 149, Shamrock is fairly sure why this finally pushing through. Shamrock believes that Gracie thinks he is perfect to go against because of the recent loss against Kimbo Slice last June.
“I believe this with all my heart. Not that it takes away the pain or the sting or anything, but if I beat Kimbo, me and Royce aren’t fighting. Depending on how I look. But because I looked so bad going into that fight, all of a sudden Royce wants to fight. He didn’t want it before this, but now he wants it,” Shamrock said during a recent interview.
Gracie, on the other hand, simply brushed off the statements during his own media interview. The MMA legend, apparently, hasn’t fought inside the cage for almost a decade.
“He shouldn’t even earn the title to fight me. It should be Kimbo. He lost. I never saw a guy that lost try to climb back again over everybody. I will not fight Kimbo. He’s a friend of mine. But [Shamrock] lost. He should pack his bag and go home. He came back and kept bugging,” Gracie said.
There is clearly a respect between the two MMA veterans though. Shamrock won’t hesitate to admit that Gracie was really good back in the 1990s. He doesn’t deny the fact that Gracie was much better than him especially in grappling. However, what ticks Shamrock off is the how Gracie never acknowledged him. Shamrock believes that he was at the better end of the daw at UFC 5, but Gracie has always denied this and said that Shamrock just laid on him.
Gracie, on the other hand, isn’t exactly happy with what Shamrock is saying about him.
“I don’t like Ken, because of the way he acts. He could be a cool guy. It’s nothing to do with his technique. It’s just the way he acts. Acts like he’s the tough one, he’s the sh*t. He ain’t sh*t. Be a little more humble. Be humble, man. He’s one of those guys that’s not humble,” Gracie said.
It looks like Shamrock and Gracie, who are now 51 and 49 years old respectively, have never been friends. The more they talk about each other in the interviews, the more it shows they despise each other. At their age, there’s still clearly plenty of pride on both parties. Of course, both of them are still entitled on bragging rights and would probably flaunt it until the fight comes up in a couple of weeks. Two decades later, this fight can still be considered a grudge match.
However, Shamrock isn’t sure that this MMA fight would actually happen if he didn’t lose to Kimbo Slice back in June at Bellator 138. Slice was able to knock him out during round 1, although Shamrock was able to do a rear-naked choke in the first few seconds of the fight.
If Shamrock was able to win this bout against Slice, he believes that the fight against Gracie would have never come to fruition.
“I’m not sure if he would have stayed retired, but he wouldn’t have fought me.” Shamrock added.