UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock will return to MMA after an over four-year hiatus at Bellator 138, to fight street-brawling internet sensation Kimbo Slice. But after such a long break, at 51 years of age and with only four wins in his last 14 fights, many critics feel Shamrock should not be fighting anymore.
Surprisingly, the "World's Most Dangerous Man" doesn't even disagree:
"I can't say anything, and I can't say that they're wrong, from what we've seen in the past," Shamrock told MMA Fighting's Luke Thomas. "I struggled to get through certain things that were going on with me during that time. I refused to quit and I refused to back up, and I kept trying to fight through, not knowing what it was. Once I got through it and I realized what the situation was, I went in and got things taken care of. I went back out and started training and it was a whole new world for me. So now that I'm starting training, I'm seeing the success and that growth in my training. [...] All I'm saying is: I can't disagree with them, as far as: 'He's 51, should he be fighting, shouldn't he be fighting?', because what we have seen in the past, was definitely an aged fighter."
While Shamrock didn't elaborate what kinds of problems plagued him over the past years and kept him from training and competing at his best, he promised to be a new and improved fighter and wants to show that to the world in his next fight.
"Watch the fight," Shamrock says. "I say this: Give me a chance! Allow me to walk in the ring and prove everybody wrong. Because this is a Ken Shamrock 15 years ago. That's what I feel like right now, that's what I'm training like right now and that's what you're gonna see in the ring come June 19th."
If he gets licensed to fight, that is. At 51 years of age, not only the critics, but first and foremost the sports commission could be wary of Shamrock's ability to endure a 15-minute professional Mixed Martial Arts fight.
"Well, I would not think so," Shamrock plays down the issue. "I mean, in the world that we live in today, we went trough prejudice with women, with race, with all kinds of color, and many other things in this world, as far as racism. I would obviously hope that we got past that stuff, to where just 'cause a guys walks into this place and he's 51 years old, that he doesn't have to do backflips, and a thousand push-ups and thousand pull-ups in order to get cleared to fight in an arena. If I can pass what everybody else can pass, then why can't I fight?"
Shamrock also talks about the need for a fighter's union in MMA and much more. You can watch the video above.