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Ken Shamrock launches bare knuckle boxing promotion

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UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock will host his first event on Sept. 21 in North Dakota.

Ken Shamrock is getting into the latest trend in combat sports.

Shamrock, a UFC Hall of Famer, has launched his own bare knuckle boxing promotion called Valor Bare Knuckle Inc., per a press release on Tuesday. He owns and operates it with longtime business partner Des Woodruff.

The first Valor BK event is scheduled for Sept. 21 at the 4 Bears Casino and Lodge in New Town, North Dakota.

“I fell in love with bare knuckle in the first no-holds barred UFC promotion in 1993,” Shamrock said, per the release. ... “Bare knuckle has always been my favorite way to compete because it is simply fighter against fighter, no more and no less. There is something pure and uncomplicated about that.”

No fights have been confirmed for the first event. Following Shamrock’s announcement, former UFC heavyweight champion Mark Coleman expressed interest in fighting Shamrock on the premiere card.

Shamrock is an MMA pioneer and has been around since the very beginning. He competed opposite fellow Hall of Famer Royce Gracie at UFC 1 in 1993. He had multiple stints in the UFC and Pancrase and also spent time in Pride FC. He competed in MMA as recently as 2016, losing to Gracie by knockout in a Bellator fight. One year prior to that, he fell to the late Kimbo Slice.

He also had a successful stint in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), now called WWE.

Shamrock is following in the footsteps of multiple other bare knuckle boxing promotions to break out onto the combat sports scene recently, including Bare Knuckle FC, which last month hosted a megafight between Artem Lobov and Paulie Malignaggi.