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xx Ken Shamrock previews UFC 51
« Thread started on: Feb 4th, 2005, 01:51am »

THE FOLLOWING IS A BOXINGINSIDER.COM MMA EXCLUSIVE:

Ken Shamrock has been very busy lately, mostly talking about his desire to rematch Tito Ortiz. Ken took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to site down with us and give his thoughts on some of the fights coming up at UFC 51, an event that features Ortiz in the main event against Vitor Belfort.

BoxingInsider.com: We’ve talked quite a bit recently about your desire to fight Tito Ortiz, but the fact is, right now, he’s set to step into the Octagon against Vitor Belfort at UFC 51. What are your thoughts on this fight? Tito’s coming off of some rough times and Vitor lost his last bout. How big is this fight for these two guys?

Ken Shamrock: You know, it’s hard to say. Vitor Belfort is the type of guy that could be the best fighter in that weight division. He could be the toughest guy at 205. I think he has that potential, but I think there are a lot of things that are in his way. I think part of it is his faith and things that he needs to do to win. I respect Vitor Belfort and I’ve known him ever since the earlier UFCs. He came in at a young age and shocked the world. He’s done a lot of great things. But he’s got to get past the religion part of it and not being able to hurt people. You’re not going in there to hurt somebody, but you are going in to win. If somebody gets hurt in the process, it wasn’t intended.

That’s going to be an interesting fight. Which Tito Ortiz shows up and which Vitor Belfort shows up. If the Vitor Belfort from the earlier UFCs shows up, he’ll knock Tito out. If Tito shows up and is the dominating fighter that he was prior to the Randy Couture and the Chuck Liddell fights, then I look for Tito to win. If they both show up, then we look for a great fight, but I give the edge to Vitor. If neither one of them show up, it’s going to be an unexciting fight.

BoxingInsider.com: MMA is still a young sport and there’s always talk about whether or not a non-title fight should headline a card. Do you think that the Tito Ortiz/Vitor Belfort fight is worthy of main event status even though it is not a title bout?

Ken Shamrock: I think so. I think Tito Ortiz has built up enough fan base and Vitor Belfort has been around for a while. I think this can be a main event fight. I think with the way that each of their last fights have gone, one of them is going to have to step up to be able to contend in the UFC anymore. They’re going to lose a lot of following if they don’t step up and fight. I will say this, it doesn’t matter to me whether Tito wins or loses. He needs to step up and back up his mouth.

BoxingInsider.com: Looking at the UFC light heavyweight picture, do you think that the winner of this fight will automatically be in line for a shot at the winner of Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell?

Ken Shamrock: The winner of this fight is not going to get a shot at Randy Couture or Chuck Liddell.

BoxingInsider.com: You don’t think that either fighter has done enough recently to be in line for a title shot just yet?

Ken Shamrock: I think Vitor; he’s going to have to get another fight in there for him to get a shot, unless Chuck beats Randy. Then there could be a rematch between Vitor Belfort and Chuck Liddell [if Vitor wins]. But the fight that just happened between Couture and Vitor, that’s probably just too soon for there to be another rematch. So, it depends on who comes out winning on a lot of these events. If Tito comes out and he looks impressive, then if he gets another fight, it’s going to go through me.

BoxingInsider.com: By now everyone knows that UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir is out for a while with an injury. So, we’ve got Tim Sylvia and Andre Arlovski stepping in to fight for the UFC Interim Heavyweight title. Do you think that these guys are the logical choice to carry the Interim belt?

Ken Shamrock: Yeah, I think so. It definitely sets up for a fight with Frank Mir for either one of them. Arlovski, I think, is impressive. He’s shown some great hand speed. He’s gotten a lot better on the ground. He definitely presents a challenge to Sylvia. It will be interesting to see if he can get inside of Sylvia’s reach. It’s not like Frank Mir who can take down Sylvia and take him out of his element and do a submission. He’s got to box him. So, it’ll be interesting to see if he can get inside like Mike Tyson and start pounding him. It’ll be an interesting fight. It’ll be a very strategic fight for Arlovski because he has to get inside; he can’t stay outside.

BoxingInsider.com: Can you pick a winner in that one?

Ken Shamrock: Oh no, I can’t pick a winner on that one. It’s going to be who can control the fight on the standup, either inside or outside.

BoxingInsider.com: We’ve also got another title fight on this one for the vacant UFC middleweight belt. We’ve got Evan Tanner squaring off against David Terrell. Now, not many people have seen much more of Terrell than his quick knockout of Matt Lindland. Do you feel like Terrell is ready for a title shot or do you think that maybe he’s a little bit of a flash because of the quick knockout of Lindland?

Ken Shamrock: I’d never say anything like that because luck is when preparation meets opportunity. I’m sure David Terrell trained real hard for that fight and he was able to catch him. So, I don’t see anything like that as being luck. Terrell has been around a long time because a couple of my guys have fought him six or seven years ago in some jiujitsu tournaments. He’s been around awhile.

BoxingInsider.com: He’s known as an excellent grappler and I think he surprised people a little bit because he knocked Matt Lindland out instead of handling things on the ground.

Ken Shamrock: Well, that’s because people know his jiujitsu. It’s kind of like Kevin Randleman knocking out Cro Cop. There’s just so much emphasis on blocking the shot that you tend to forget that grapplers can punch too. I think that’s kind of what happened. Like I said, David Terrell has been around awhile and it’s not like he’s green and he’s a young kid coming up and bam, he’s getting a shot. He’s been around mixed martial arts for a while, so he deserves it.

BoxingInsider.com: And Terrell is stepping up against a very experienced fighter in Evan Tanner who is also a guy that cuts a lot of weight. Coming down from 205 or 210 pounds, he’s a pretty big fighter for the middleweights isn’t he?

Ken Shamrock: Yeah. That could possess a problem for him if the fight does go into the later rounds.

BoxingInsider.com: You think it might drag on his endurance?

Ken Shamrock: He’s a pretty big dude for 185 and to cut that much, how much energy does he have stored in him? And that’s what it comes down to is that stored energy.

BoxingInsider.com: You’ve fought most of your career at heavyweight, but have had to come down to 205 before. How difficult is it to cut that weight?

Ken Shamrock: Well, 205 for me is not that hard of a weight to get to because I try and keep weight on and I’m at 218. The problem with that is not learning how to diet properly. I didn’t diet for 15 years, so it was new to me again. So, that kind of caught me and I started crashing and I didn’t know how to bring it back up. I think with Evan Tanner, he’s been dieting a lot and he knows how to do it, but 185 is very different than 205 especially for his body size because I don’t think he’s much smaller than I am. So that could become a problem for him if it becomes a tough fight and goes into the later rounds.

BoxingInsider.com: Overall what do you think of this Super Bowl weekend card that the UFC has put together?

Ken Shamrock: I think it’s got some good qualities on there. The UFC, I think, is still trying to build stars. So, you have to have cards where you can start building some names. I think this is a good card for that. There are definitely a lot of guys that have an opportunity to step up and be recognized. Definitely, the fights that they’ve put together should be exciting. If they do these kinds of cards every other show or every three shows where you just give guys an opportunity to show, then I think that’s the direction to go to start building some faces and I think this card is going to do that.

Ken Pishna is a regular contributor to BoxingInsider.com. He can be contacted via email at KenPishna@MMAWeekly.com.

Ken Shamrock is a UFC Hall of Famer, “The Worlds most Dangerous Man”, and a regular contributor to www.boxinginsider.com. Visit www.KenShamrock.com for more information. Check out Lion’s Den Clothing, available exclusively at www.KenShamrock.com. Stay tuned for a huge announcement regarding Ken Shamrock’s next UFC fight!
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