By The Numbers: Ken Shamrock

By: Mark Raymundo
Oct 17, 2018

Not many fighters embraced the harsh lights of competition the way Ken Shamrock did. The Ultimate Fighting Championship hall of famer and former King of Pancrase fronted the Lion’s Den and maintained a ferocious persona in victory and defeat. Shamrock’s career spanned multiple eras from MMA’s bareknuckle beginnings to “The Ultimate Fighter” and beyond. A by-the-numbers look at “The World’s Most Dangerous Man”:

52: Years old at the time of his last fight -- a rubber match with fellow legend Royce Gracie at Bellator 149. Gracie submitted Shamrock with a rear-naked choke at UFC 1 before their UFC 5 rematch ended in a draw. Their third encounter concluded in a controversial technical knockout for the Brazilian, as he followed a knee to the groin that went unseen by the referee with a barrage of punches that necessitated the stoppage.

30: Minutes spent inside the ring with Manabu Yamada in the 1994 King of Pancrase tournament final. Shamrock won by unanimous decision to become the inaugural Pancrase openweight champion.

2: Submission attempts on Dan Severn in their first meeting at UFC 6. Shamrock forced “The Beast” to tap to a guillotine choke 2:14 into the first round, the win bringing with it the UFC superfight championship. Severn evened the score at UFC 9, where he outpointed Shamrock to a decision.

2: Finishes by kneebar on his resume. Shamrock tapped Bas Rutten with the maneuver in Pancrase and did the same to Kimo Leopoldo at UFC 8. With that victory, he defended his UFC superfight title for a second time. Shamrock later knocked out Leopoldo at UFC 48.

5: Wins by heel hook. Shamrock stopped Yoshiki Takahashi, Patrick Smith, Andre Van Den Oetelaar, Ryushi Yanagisawa and Alex Cook with the leg lock.

3: Bouts with Tito Ortiz in what remains one of the fiercest rivalries in MMA history. Ortiz finished Shamrock in all three of their meetings.

20: Appearances under the Pancrase flag, as he went 17-3 with the promotion. Shamrock was a force in Pancrase, his only losses coming to the organization’s co-founders: Minoru Suzuki (twice) and Masakatsu Funaki (once).

12: Fights in the UFC, where he compiled a 6-4-2 record. Shamrock moved to the UFC in 1993 after dominating the first three Pancrase shows. During his run, he defeated Leopoldo (twice), Smith, Severn, Christophe Leininger and Felix Mitchell.

4: Assignments with Pride Fighting Championships, going 1-3. After a four-year stop in the World Wrestling Federation, Shamrock chose Pride has his home when he decided to return to MMA. In his first fight, Shamrock knocked out Alexander Otsuka. At Pride 10, he dominated Kazuyuki Fujita, only to have his corner throw in the towel after Shamrock complained of palpitations. Five years later, he got TKO’d by Kazushi Sakuraba.

2: Bouts in Bellator MMA, where he went 0-2. Despite being away from the sport for five years, Shamrock signed on to face Kevin Ferguson, aka “Kimbo Slice,” at Bellator 138. He succumbed to punches from Ferguson at Bellator 138 and returned to the stage at Bellator 149 a little less than a year later, losing to Gracie by TKO.

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