Photo: Esther Lin via allelbows.com
With the news that Tito Ortiz is being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, the debate over Frank Shamrock's exclusion is raging again. In terms of purely looking at accomplishments, talent and "worthiness" I refuse to accept any argument that Frank does not belong in. But the story is much more complicated than that.
Frank refuses to play nice with Dana White and the UFC and that is always going to be a sticking point. The Hall is a promotional tool, it's not a legitimate independent HoF so they don't have to deal with votes and discussions over what is right and wrong. If you were good and you've decided to make nice with the right people, you can get in. Act like Frank has toward Dana (regardless of your feelings on if he is right or wrong) and the rest of the promotion, and you're not going to be given a public accolade.
Frank was on Spike's MMA Uncensored Live and he did not have the kindest things to say about Dana and the whole situation when it came up.
It started off tame enough:
Well, honestly, I didn't really care, but my wife was pretty pissed that I wasn't in the Hall of Fame. I don't care. I think it's awesome that Tito's in. He deserves to be in there. I believe I should be in the Hall of Fame, but it ain't my Hall of Fame. If they wanna put me in, that's great. It's not gonna keep me up at night.
Here's my thing. I did everything I could for the sport, from speaking to the commissions to presenting in front of cable companies -- anything and everything, I was hired to go do it. I was a great spokesman, and I believe in this sport. If they wanna put me in or not, it's totally up to them. I think it's just a big knuckle-fest. God bless Tito, and I'm real proud that he's made it
But things did get a little more heated.
Frank would make clear that it's not professional, it's personal:
It's definitely personal between Dana and I. To further that, I've done everything I can possibly do for this sport. I hope that would include UFC. You know, Dana and I don't get along. I think he's a total douchebag and a bully. I just, I got no breath for him.
He also made it clear that he wouldn't mind running across Dana in a dark alley:
As Dana's first martial arts instructor, I understand his skill set and his limitations, and I would love to have that moment.