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Frank Shamrock: Legend

Bill Thompson at Total-MMA has a piece that is much closer to my take on Frank Shamrock. Here's the first and last paragraphs but you should read the whole thing:

Admittedly I am in the group of MMA fans that care about the fight and the fight only. All the pre-fight and post-fight antics don't matter to me now, never have in the past, and likely won't in the future. I only care about two competitors getting in their chosen arena and giving it their all for my entertainment. I derive my entertainment from the actions of those two competitors in the cage or ring, and that is all I need. Others look for more, they want that post-fight smacktalk or the pre-fight staredown at the weigh-ins. There is one man however that seems to understand just how entertainment works in MMA to a level that no other man can claim to have reached. Even for one such as I, where the fight is all that matters, I am inevitably drawn in by this man's antics before, during, and after the fight. Frank Shamrock is a polarizing figure, most fans either love him or hate him, but for a different reason than most may suspect he may very well be the only true MMA legend out there.

Zuffa would like you to believe that the brand is all that matters, that MMA is like the NFL where the players are not important but rather the team is important. Frank Shamrock wants you to know that Zuffa are stupid. He wants you to know that the fighters do matter and that one fighter can convince the MMA community that he still matters on the highest level even when you know that he shouldn't. In a world where everything is tied to promotions and to the overall picture Shamrock wants to stand out and he does so with zeal. MMA is a sport where the word legend is bandied about somewhat and it's debatable as to whether or not anyone has actually claimed that title. All one need do is take one look at Frank Shamrock and you will see that MMA already has at least one certified legend in its midst. Enjoy watching Frank Shamrock while you can, because there has only been one fighter like him in the history of MMA and who knows if there will ever be another. Continue to cheer for him and continue to hate him, because as long as you never bring ambivalence to bear upon him them his legend can only continue to grow.

I couldn't agree more. Especially as regards the Zuffa part. Fighting is about individual fighters, not the brands of the promotions putting on the fights. Even if the UFC is the greatest promotion in the young history of the sport (by far IMO), they're still not justified in trying to treat the fighters as disposable.

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