Tracy Lee of Combat Lifestyle
Frank Shamrock is obviously a legend in MMA, and his burial by the UFC is a sad, sad thing. Shamrock has done a very good job keeping himself relevant outside of the bright lights of the UFC though, and part of that was through the creation of Strikeforce with Scott Coker. On Inside MMA this week, Shamrock spoke to Bas Rutten about the birth of Strikeforce, and what a letdown it was when the company was sold to Zuffa last year (transcribed by MMA Mania):
"Strikeforce was my baby. Scott [Coker] and I were sitting, like this, at a coffee shop. He was like, 'Bro, I wanna do MMA.' It was literally like that. And I go, 'Wow, are you kidding me? Do you know hard it is? Do you know how much money it costs and the risk there is?' And he and I were like bros, and we shook hands and said, 'Let's do it!' I put everything into that company. I mean, literally every day of my life, I woke up, and I breathed Strikeforce. It was the first chance I saw, besides the monopoly of the UFC, to give MMA a shot -- to give martial artists, who don't know what MMA is about, a nice picture of it. Scott was a martial artist as a promoter, and he got it. He let me do my thing. I'm an entertainer. I'm a risk taker. When we sold, it was harder than you [Bas Rutten] breaking my face in our first fight. It was like everything ended that day. It was really tough."
Shamrock was also quite blunt about the future of the company, which has cancelled its last two events but promises to be back in January 2013:
"Strikeforce is coming to an end. They've been consumed by a much larger company. They've got a brand and a direction that doesn't seem like it includes the Strikeforce brand. So, if history repeats itself, I think it's gonna go away, and we're gonna have a new show, a new opportunity, and hopefully a new platform."
Could Frank himself save the company he started if Zuffa was willing to sell it? Nope:
"I don't have the money to buy it. I mean, unless you've got the money, call me! But, I've been a risk taker my whole life, and I just don't see any way to save it, right now. I don't have the cash to do it."