Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Letter to Ken Shamrock

Dear Ken,

You are due to face Kimbo Slice in the main event of the EliteXC Circus in October. At this stage of your career, you have faced the best of the best and have nothing left to prove to anyone, other than the beast inside that all top competitors have.

This beast is indomitable, and it has given you victories when lesser men have faded. It has also made you one of the most recognizable faces in MMA ever. You were one of the original few that brought MMA, and indeed UFC, to a greater audience, and you deserve credit where credit is due.

Since your debut with Pancrase Hybrid Wrestling in 1993, you have won several titles, including the UFC super-fight title. In short Ken, you are one of the most respected men to set foot in a ring or an octagon.

But that was then...this is now.

Ken, of your incredible 41 fights in your MMA career, you have won 26 and lost 13. Of the 13 you have lost, eight were in your last 10 fights.

The mind is willing, but the body is getting old. Ken, you're 44 now. Having had a fantastic career, money should not be an issue. I hope it's not. But every sportsman face's the conundrum you face now.

You were great, you know you've got one more great performance in you, and you want to go out on your terms. But only a few get to make that choice, Ken.

The chances of you receiving a serious head injury are reduced in MMA, but the chance is still there. Don't become our Muhammad Ali, please.

I've read your interview of the upcoming fight against Kimbo Slice. You can still talk the talk. And what you say about his style may be right. And I'm sure that Ken Shamrock of 10 years ago would have taken him apart, hell even the Ken of five years ago could've beaten this guy.

But you're neither of these guys now. You're Ken Shamrock, you're 44, you're older, slower, and hopefully wiser. And you've lost your last five in a row.

You may have guessed that I don't want you to fight. You'd be right. But now that you've signed upon the dotted line, I hope you win. Then I hope you retire.

You see Ken; you can still fulfill your need to participate in a contact sport. One of the main reasons UFC is so popular now is the time you spent with WWE. You introduced the sport we love to a wider audience. That audience still loves you. And you should take advantage of it. You can make really good money by making the short trip from ExciteXC to either WWE or TNA.

Personally I'd like to see you in TNA; it's already set up for you. You'd walk straight into a program with Kurt Angle and Frank Trigg. This could see you heavily involved in the direction of the company. It could also inspire other fighters to make the trip to be with you. Yes, Ken, you are that respected.

I hope your future career is successful Ken. I hope I've made a bit of sense. I hope you don't get hurt.