Age, Biography and Wiki
Ken Shamrock was born on 11 February, 1964 in Macon, GA, is an American professional wrestler and mixed martial arts fighter. Discover Ken Shamrock’s Biography, Age, Height, Physical Stats, Dating/Affairs, Family and career updates. Learn How rich is He in this year and how He spends money? Also learn how He earned most of networth at the age of 56 years old?
|Age||56 years old|
|Born||11 February 1964|
We recommend you to check the complete list of Famous People born on 11 February.
He is a member of famous Wrestler with the age 56 years old group.
Ken Shamrock Height, Weight & Measurements
At 56 years old, Ken Shamrock height is 6′ 1″ and Weight 209 lbs.
|Body Measurements||Not Available|
|Eye Color||Not Available|
|Hair Color||Not Available|
Who Is Ken Shamrock’s Wife?
His wife is Tonya Shamrock (m. 2005), Tina Ramirez (m. 1985–2002)
|Wife||Tonya Shamrock (m. 2005), Tina Ramirez (m. 1985–2002)|
|Children||Fallon Marie Shamrock, Ryan Shamrock, Rebecca Shamrock, Connor Kenneth Shamrock, Sean Garret Shamrock|
Ken Shamrock Net Worth
He net worth has been growing significantly in 2018-19. So, how much is Ken Shamrock worth at the age of 56 years old? Ken Shamrock’s income source is mostly from being a successful Wrestler. He is from American. We have estimated Ken Shamrock’s net worth, money, salary, income, and assets.
|Net Worth in 2020||$1 Million – $5 Million|
|Salary in 2019||Under Review|
|Net Worth in 2019||Pending|
|Salary in 2019||Under Review|
|Source of Income||Wrestler|
Ken Shamrock Social Network
|Ken Shamrock Instagram|
|Ken Shamrock Twitter|
|Ken Shamrock Facebook|
|Wikipedia||Ken Shamrock Wikipedia|
Timeline of Ken Shamrock
In August 2019, it was announced that Shamrock would be returning to TNA, now known as Impact Wrestling, for the first time since 2004. He returned at the September 5 and 6 Impact! TV tapings in Las Vegas, Nevada and further his feud with Moose that began over social media. Shamrock faced Moose at the Bound for Glory event in a losing effort. On the October 29th episode of Impact!, Shamrock was challenged to a match by Joey Ryan. The following week he defeated Ryan winning his first match since 2002. On February 2020, he was announced as the new member of the Impact Hall of Fame.
In July, 2019 via his Facebook page, Shamrock announced that he has “no plans to fight again.”
In July 2019, Shamrock announced he would be beginning his own bare-knuckle boxing promotion called Valor. The inaugural bare-knuckle event was held in New Town, North Dakota on September 21, 2019, featuring several UFC veterans.
Shamrock returned to professional wrestling on November 30, 2018, for Battle Championship Wrestling in Melbourne, Australia. He defeated BCW Tag Team Champion Gabriel Wolfe in a singles match before teaming with Carlo Cannon in an impromptu BCW Tag Team Championship match against Wolfe and Big Cuz, in which Shamrock and Cannon were successful in capturing the BCW tag team titles. These matches were Shamrock’s first since 2009 and his first championship since the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in the summer of 2002. They would go on to hold the titles for nine months to the day losing them to The Preston Kindred (Jonathan Preston & Sean Preston).
At Bellator 145, it was announced that Shamrock would face rival Royce Gracie in a trilogy fight on February 19, 2016, at Bellator 149, almost 21 years after their most recent fight. Gracie won the fight in the first round after taking Shamrock down and ending it with hammerfists. The win, however, was not without controversy as replays showed that Gracie landed an illegal groin strike to Shamrock, which resulted in him taking his opponent down. With the referee not stopping the bout, it was officially ruled a TKO victory for Gracie, the first of his MMA career. The fight ended at 2:22, exactly the same time as Ken Shamrock’s earlier fight against Kimbo Slice. On March 11, 2016, it was revealed by Texas Combat Sports commission that Shamrock had failed his pre-fight drug test. His licence to fight was revoked.
On January 8, 2015, Shamrock announced that he would fight James Quinn in the United Kingdom in a Bare Knuckle Boxing match. The match was set for April 2015, but never took place.
On February 27, 2015, during Bellator 134, it was announced that Ken would return to fight Kimbo Slice at Bellator 138 on June 19, 2015. During the fight, Shamrock had managed to take Slice down twice and the second time establish a rear naked choke. Slice refused to tap, however, and eventually wriggled free from the submission and was able catch Shamrock with one of his trademark powerful right hooks resulting in a TKO loss for Shamrock at 2:22 in the first round.
In December 2013 at “Amo del Hexagono” in Costa Rica, he made his return by attacking Carlito and challenging him to a match.
Shamrock was scheduled to face Antony Rea at WEF 46 on April 22, 2011. Ken withdrew from the fight with Rea due to a staph infection. Shamrock was also planning on returning to MMA to take on Ian Freeman for ‘The Legends World Title’ on July 27 at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster, England. The fight with Freeman was cancelled due to contractual issues on Shamrock’s part.
Shamrock faced Pedro Rizzo on July 18, 2010, at an event called Impact Fighting Championships in Sydney, Australia. Shamrock lost by TKO due to leg kicks. His next fight was against Johnathan Ivey for the USA MMA promotion on October 16, 2010. Shamrock earned a unanimous decision against Ivey, with all three judges scoring the bout 30-27. He then fought Mike Bourke on November 25, 2010, in Durban, South Africa for the King of the Cage promotion. Shamrock knocked Bourke down with a punch but was injured shortly after during a scramble and subsequently lost the bout via TKO (injury) in the first round, as he was unable to continue due to a leg injury.
On January 14, 2010, Frank and Ken Shamrock’s adoptive father, Bob Shamrock, died due to health complications from diabetes.
Ken Shamrock Productions co-promoted an event with War Gods on February 13, 2009, in which Ken fought in the main event against 6’6, 380 lb. Ross Clifton. Shamrock knocked Clifton down with a right hand and finished him via arm bar from side control in the first round. Shamrock was then scheduled to fight Bobby Lashley, but tested positive for steroids after the Clifton fight and received a one-year suspension. Shamrock’s attorney and former manager Rod Donohoo said Shamrock adamantly denied the allegations.
Shamrock became known early on in the UFC for his rivalry with Royce Gracie. After fighting to a draw in the inaugural UFC “Superfight”, he became the first UFC Superfight Champion when he defeated Dan Severn at UFC 6; the title was eventually replaced by the UFC Heavyweight Championship when weight categories were introduced to the UFC. He was also the first foreign MMA Champion in Japan, winning the title of King of Pancrase. During his reign as the UFC Superfight Champion, he was widely considered the #1 mixed martial artist in the world. In 2008, Shamrock was ranked by Inside MMA as one of the top 10 greatest mixed martial arts fighters of all time. He is the founder of the Lion’s Den mixed martial arts training camp, and is the older brother of Frank Shamrock.
After the fight, Shamrock admitted that he had underestimated Gracie. In 2008 he said: “I didn’t know who Royce Gracie was… When I saw him in his gi, I thought he was some karate guy [with no grappling skills].” On the other hand, in 2015 Shamrock said he had watched the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu: In Action before the event and showed it to Funaki and the rest: “So one thing led to another, they started to support me on it- they did know that that gi meant a lot- but when they saw it too they thought “Yeah, you’ll be able to beat this guy pretty well.” And I had confidence, too.” Anyway, he still excuses the loss, based on the fact that he wasn’t wearing wrestling shoes during the fights.
On March 8 at the Cage Rage 25, Shamrock fought Robert Berry, but lost in the first round by Technical knockout due to punches. It was announced on August 25 that Shamrock’s next opponent would be Kimbo Slice at Elite XC Saturday Night Fight Special on October 4, 2008. Shamrock, however, was injured before the match and could not compete for at least 45 days.
Dana White said in 2008; “Ken Shamrock was in a beef with us over his contract. We thought he retired, he was claiming he didn’t and still had one fight. And my attitude was, I’d rather pay Ken Shamrock to not fight. I’d rather pay him to not fight and just say, “stay home, Ken”. Ken is way past his prime, it gets to the point where it’s dangerous for that guy to still be fighting.” WWE announcer Jim Ross said before Shamrock’s scheduled fight with Bobby Lashley in early 2009; “There was a time that I could see the veteran, 45-year-old Shamrock, a former WWE superstar, schooling the MMA rookie Lashley but that ship has long since sailed. I have great respect for Ken but he’s outstayed his welcome in the octagon, cage, whatever and needs to teach and coach and stop fighting…Kenny is fighting for one more pay day while Lashley is fighting to help establish what he hopes will be a long term, lucrative, MMA career.”
In Dan Wetzel’s eulogy for Kimbo Slice, he described Slice’s opponent Shamrock as a “tomato can” in their scheduled October 2008 fight.
Shamrock was rumored to fight Englishman Steve McDonald at UFC 75, but he was ultimately released from his UFC contract in June 2007. Shamrock stated that the UFC released him solely because of his decision to coach in the International Fight League. Shamrock then engaged in a feud with White in the media and ultimately sued the UFC for breach of contract, citing that he had one fight left on his deal that the UFC had to honor. Shamrock ultimately lost his suit against the UFC and was ordered by the court to pay Zuffa’s attorney fees, totaling $175,000.
In early 2007, Shamrock became the coach of the Nevada Lions for the International Fight League (IFL). Roy Nelson, one of Shamrock’s fighters, was the reigning IFL Heavyweight Champion when the league was bought out and disbanded.
On July 8, 2006, at UFC 61, the rematch between Shamrock and Ortiz took place. Shamrock lost the rematch with Ortiz in 1:18 of the first round by a technical knockout. During the match, referee Herb Dean deemed that Shamrock was no longer able to intelligently defend himself and stopped the fight. Shamrock and the crowd were furious at the early stoppage and Dana White immediately put together a rematch on television.
At Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3: The Final Chapter on October 10, 2006, Shamrock was defeated again by Ortiz by KO after referee John McCarthy stopped the fight following multiple undefended fist strikes. Immediately after the fight, Ortiz initially celebrated his victory with a mocking “grave digger” routine and a T-shirt that said, “Punishing Him Into Retirement” after giving him the finger. However, Shamrock approached Ortiz and, after the two talked for several seconds, Shamrock said they could put all of their animosity aside as it was always “just business”, shaking hands and burying the hatchet. UFC President Dana White said the day after Shamrock’s fight with Ortiz, “Last night was a turning point for the UFC. This will further drive the evolution of mixed martial arts into a mainstream sport.”
In October 2005, Shamrock lost to Kazushi Sakuraba in Pride: Fully Loaded by TKO. Three minutes into the bout, Sakuraba struck through Shamrock’s guard with a left hand. Shamrock staggered back and ultimately fell into the ropes, his head hanging out of the ring and his back turned to Sakuraba. Sakuraba rushed in to follow up, but before any meaningful offense could be launched, the fight was halted by referee Yuji Shimada. Shamrock got up following the KO and protested vigorously. Opinions were mixed regarding the KO’s legitimacy, though Ken’s adopted brother and rival, Frank, stated to believe the stoppage was justified.
On April 9, 2005, at The Ultimate Fighter finale Shamrock faced Rich Franklin. Shamrock applied a heel hook early in the fight that put Franklin on crutches for a week, but Franklin escaped and defeated Shamrock by a TKO.
On November 19, 2005, at UFC 56, Dana White, the UFC president, announced that Shamrock would be one of the coaches (along with Tito Ortiz) for the upcoming third season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Shamrock briefly returned to TNA in July 2004. In his return, he only wrestled twice: for the NWA Heavyweight Championship in a gauntlet match, and an eight-man guitar-on-a-pole match. In both matches, he was unsuccessful in winning. Shamrock then departed TNA again shortly after the latter match.
At UFC 48 on June 19, 2004, a 40-year-old Shamrock returned to fight the 244 lb (111 kg; 17.4 st) Kimo Leopoldo in a rematch of the UFC 8 Superfight Championship match, which Shamrock had won via submission due to a kneebar. The rematch saw Shamrock once again win, this time by way of KO. Shamrock injured his shoulder during the fight against Kimo. He originally thought it was just “wear and tear”, but an MRI revealed a torn rotator cuff. Shamrock then had to have surgery to repair it.
Shamrock made two appearances for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) between 2003 and 2004. He defeated Takashi Iizuka at Ultimate Crush II in May 2003. He then lost to Josh Barnett by disqualification at NJPW Nexess.
After the fight was over, Shamrock revealed that he fought Ortiz with a torn ACL. He also seriously contemplated retirement from MMA, citing the fact that he had never lost two fights in a row in his career before and he had a buildup of injuries. In 2003, Shamrock had surgery to repair his ACL. Shamrock has said that since his knee injury, he has had difficulty shooting and taking people down, which resulted in Shamrock changing his primary style from a wrestler/grappler and moving more towards a standup fighter.
On November 21, 2003, at UFC 45, Royce Gracie and Shamrock became the first inductees to the UFC Hall of Fame. UFC President Dana White said, “We feel that no two individuals are more deserving than Royce and Ken to be the charter members. Their contributions to our sport, both inside and outside the Octagon, may never be equaled.”
Shamrock returned to professional wrestling in March 2002, refereeing a Ring of Honor match between Bryan Danielson and Low Ki.
In May 2002, Shamrock signed a one-year deal with the newly formed Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) promotion. On the inaugural TNA pay-per-view on June 19, Shamrock won the vacant NWA World Heavyweight Championship in a Gauntlet for the Gold match and is recognized as TNA’s first ever World Champion. After feuding with Malice for several weeks, Shamrock left TNA shortly after losing the title to Ron Killings on August 7.
The feud ended on February 24, 2002, at Pride 19, where Shamrock fought Frye in the main event in a match that potentially had PRIDE Heavyweight Championship title implications (PRIDE FC considered giving the winner of this fight a title shot against Pride heavyweight champion Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira). Frye got the edge on a series of clinch battles, while Shamrock dropped down for an ankle lock and transitioned into both a kneebar and a toehold, wrenching Frye’s leg badly; however, despite the damage, Frye refused to tap out and managed to knock Shamrock down in a subsequent punching exchange. The bout moved to the mat, where Shamrock attempted another ankle lock, only for Frye to try to counter with one of his own and finally refusing to tap out by sheer will until the time ran out. Shamrock lost a close split decision, and the two hugged after the fight ended, putting an end to their rivalry.
On November 22, 2002, at UFC 40, nearly four years after the confrontation at UFC 19, Shamrock returned to the UFC to fight Ortiz in a title match for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Shamrock’s apparent size advantage did not factor into the fight, however; Shamrock experienced difficulty cutting weight for the first time and cut too much weight, weighing in at 201 lbs, 4 lbs under the 205 lb. limit. Ortiz shed light upon his feelings before the fight in his book This is Gonna Hurt: The Life of a Mixed Martial Arts Champion; “Ken Shamrock is a real good fighter. I was not intimidated by him, but I guess you can say I was a little bit afraid.”
In March 2001, Shamrock was scheduled to fight Igor Vovchanchyn at Pride 13 – Collision Course, but re-injured his neck during training two weeks before the fight, the same serious neck injury that ended his WWF career.
On January 30, 2000, at the Pride Grand Prix 2000 Opening Round, Guy Mezger, one of Shamrock’s fighters, fought Kazushi Sakuraba, who at the time was considered to be one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. Mezger took the fight on two weeks’ notice and had a broken foot going into the fight. The contract that Mezger signed stipulated that the fight would be one 15 minute round with no overtime. The fight mostly consisted of Mezger controlling the fight by stopping Sakuraba’s takedown attempts while landing strikes from the outside. The round ended and Mezger expected the fight to go to the judges, but Pride officials wanted the fight to go to overtime.
In early 2000, Shamrock made a comeback to the mixed martial arts scene following his 4-year hiatus in the WWF. He signed with Pride Fighting Championships and defeated Alexander Otsuka by KO due to punches at the Pride Grand Prix 2000 Finals in the superfight, his first fight back from the WWF. During the match Shamrock was able to totally knock out the tough Otsuka, a feat which renowned strikers like Igor Vovchanchyn and Wanderlei Silva failed to do. This was the first ever Pride event to be broadcast live in America and Pride strategically used Shamrock’s drawing power in America by making his Superfight with Otsuka the co-headliner of the event.
On August 27, 2000, Shamrock fought consensus top 10 Heavyweight “Ironhead” Kazuyuki Fujita at Pride 10 – Return of the Warriors. Shamrock came into the fight with Fujita noticeably smaller than his previous fight with Otsuka, dropping roughly 15 pounds of weight. During the time before the fight, Shamrock was going through a divorce and had to take care of his young kids during the day, which severely cut into his training time for the fight. Despite this, Shamrock dominated Fujita throughout the entire fight, stopping takedowns from the Japanese wrestling champion and landing hard strikes, but eventually had his corner throw in the towel because he felt like he was having a heart attack. He was evaluated after the fight and it was determined that he was suffering from heart palpitations.
In 2000, after Shamrock’s three-year absence from MMA while he was participating in professional wrestling with the WWF, Shamrock returned to MMA showcasing a vastly different style of fighting. Shamrock sustained a large amount of injuries during his WWF career, including a serious neck injury and several knee injuries. Shamrock has stated that his knee injuries caused him difficulty in shooting and taking people down, which caused him to shift his style towards striking and abandon his grappling pedigree.
Shamrock had appeared in numerous video games: WCW vs. the World, WWF War Zone, WWF Attitude, WWF WrestleMania 2000, WWF SmackDown!, WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role (Hidden character), WWF No Mercy, UFC: Tapout 2, UFC: Sudden Impact, EA Sports MMA, WWE ’13 and WWE 2K16.
Shamrock turned heel in October 1998 and won the vacant Intercontinental Championship on October 12, defeating X-Pac in the finals of an eight-man tournament. In November, Shamrock joined Mr. McMahon’s Corporation after McMahon offered him “a family” in exchange for his services. On December 14, Shamrock and fellow Corporation member The Big Boss Man defeated the New Age Outlaws for the WWF Tag Team Championship, making Shamrock a dual champion. The duo held the titles until January 25, 1999, when they lost to Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart.
In January 1999, Shamrock began feuding with Billy Gunn, Goldust and Val Venis, all of whom had made overtures to his kayfabe sister, Ryan. He lost the Intercontinental Championship to Venis on February 14 at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre when Gunn, the guest referee, delivered a fast count. Shamrock took part in a four way bout for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania XV. The reigning champion Road Dogg, was able to retain his title by pinning Goldust after Shamrock and Venis were counted out while brawling outside the ring.
In early mid-1999, the Corporation began feuding with The Undertaker and his Ministry of Darkness, with The Undertaker’s minions repeatedly ambushing Shamrock and kidnapping Ryan, sacrificing her on the Undertaker’s symbol. After breaking away from the Corporation, thus turning face once more, Shamrock went on to feud with The Undertaker at Backlash and lost.
After losing to Undertaker, Shamrock, Big Show, Mankind and Test formed The Union, a stable of wrestlers in opposition to the Corporate Ministry. The Union dissolved soon after defeating the Corporate Ministry at Over the Edge in May. Shamrock briefly feuded with Jeff Jarrett before beginning a rivalry with martial artist Steve Blackman that saw he and Blackman fight one another in a series of unorthodox matches. The feud ended at SummerSlam, where Shamrock defeated Blackman in a “Lion’s Den weapons match”. He went on to feud with the newly debuted Chris Jericho until departing the WWF in late 1999 in order to resume his mixed martial arts career. His departure was attributed on screen to an injury inflicted by Jericho’s bodyguard, Mr. Hughes. Shamrock has since appeared in the video games WWF SmackDown!, WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role (in Royal Rumble matches only), WWF No Mercy, WWE ’13 and WWE 2K16.
Shamrock engaged in a feud with Don Frye during his career in the Pride Fighting Championships, whose background was Don Frye’s trash talking. In 1999, Alicia Webb (also known as Ryan Shamrock) dated Ken Shamrock until early 2003. Frye made comments to the effect that Shamrock cheated on and divorced his wife to date a young girl (Alicia Webb was 19 and Ken Shamrock was 35 when they started dating). Frye also joked that Ken’s (at the time) estranged father Bob and brother Frank would be in Frye’s corner for the fight. Ken Shamrock was enraged by Frye’s trash talk, causing a feud between Shamrock and Frye. Since then, Frye has stated that he only resorted to personal trash talk to make Ken want to fight him. Frye said: “I saw Ken Shamrock whoop him (Dan Severn) at UFC 6 and I thought, “That’s a guy I gotta fight. Anybody who can whoop Dan Severn like that has gotta be a man and I want to test my size against his size. I had the chance to talk trash and they gave me the fight; I crossed the line. I wasn’t professional about it, but Ken was and after the fight, we shook hands and went our separate ways.”
A feud between Shamrock’s Lion’s Den camp and Tito Ortiz began to build on January 8, 1999, at UFC 18. After upsetting top UFC fighter and Lion’s Den member Jerry Bohlander, Ortiz mimicked shooting at Shamrock and put on a shirt in the octagon which read “I just f**ked your ass”.
On March 5, 1999, at UFC 19, after Ortiz won by referee stoppage in his rematch with Guy Mezger, he immediately flipped off the Lion’s Den corner and then put on a shirt that said “Gay Mezger is my Bitch”. After Shamrock saw the shirt, he yelled into the octagon “Hey Tito, don’t let me see you wearing that shirt!”. Shamrock leaped onto the top of the cage, screaming at Ortiz and angrily waving his finger in Ortiz’s face. Referee John McCarthy picked Ortiz up and carried him across the octagon to prevent the situation from escalating further. The situation was escalated to the point that police and security had to be called in to monitor the situation.
— Mikey Burnett, UFC 18 post fight interview, January 8, 1999
In addition to his mixed martial arts career, Shamrock enjoyed considerable success in professional wrestling, particularly during his tenure with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now the WWE). There, he is a one-time Intercontinental Champion, a one-time World Tag Team Champion and the 1998 King of the Ring. Shamrock also wrestled for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, where he is a one-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion – the first world champion under the TNA banner – and a 2002 Gauntlet for the Gold winner. He headlined multiple pay-per-view events in both promotions, including 1997’s D-Generation X: In Your House, where he challenged for the WWF Championship. Additionally, Shamrock was also one of the first American wrestlers to use the shoot wrestling style. WWE has credited Shamrock with popularizing the ankle lock submission hold.
Throughout early 1998, Shamrock feuded with The Rock and his Nation of Domination stable over Rock’s Intercontinental Championship. He lost to Rock via disqualification at the Royal Rumble and a victory over him at WrestleMania XIV was reversed after Shamrock continued to apply his ankle lock after Rock had submitted.
In June 1998, Shamrock competed in the 1998 King of the Ring tournament, eliminating Nation members Mark Henry, Kama and The Rock, as well as Jeff Jarrett, to win the tournament. Following the King of the Ring, Shamrock feuded briefly with the returning King Mabel, who had interfered to attack him in a rematch with Jarrett, and whom Shamrock defeated in a singles match injuring his leg. He next feuded with Owen Hart: Hart defeated Shamrock in a “Hart Family Dungeon match” at Fully Loaded, and Shamrock defeated Hart in a “Lion’s Den match” at SummerSlam. In September, he formed a short-lived stable with Mankind and The Rock.
His ninth match, against Matt Hume, would be a controversial one too. The bout was finished by Shamrock performing a professional wrestling northern lights suplex floated over into a Kimura lock, and was widely considered to be a worked shoot. When Shamrock was asked about the matter in 1998, he revealed that Hume and him had agreed to work the match in an exhibition format. Later, in 2015, he would answer to a similar question: “I talked to Matt and I said that we would go in with each other but I wouldn’t hurt him. I wouldn’t hurt him, because he had been so green. […] So those were understandings I had with guys because I was so much better than they were. And I’m not going to go in there and abuse these guys.”
Shamrock released his book, Inside The Lion’s Den, on March 15, 1998.
Shamrock made his WWF debut as a face on the February 24, 1997 episode of Monday Night Raw. On March 23, 1997, Shamrock, identified as Ken Shamrock and billed as “The World’s Most Dangerous Man”—a name given to him by ABC News—refereed a submission match between Bret Hart and Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13.
Shamrock returned to the ring following WrestleMania, squashing Vernon White (one of his Lion’s Den students) in his debut WWF match. He went on to feud with Vader, Bret Hart, and The Hart Foundation throughout 1997. Shamrock’s feud with Vader continued in Japan, through a working agreement between the WWF and FMW, Shamrock wrestled Vader in an Ultimate Rules Steel Cage match for FMW’s Kawasaki Legend 1997 super show featuring 4 other promotions. The match ended in a TKO win for Vader as Shamrock was suffering from internal bleeding from a lung infection and a rib injury.
Shamrock was later the star of a low-budget martial arts film in 1997 called Champions alongside Danny Trejo.
Shamrock eventually had a falling out with Pancrase management in early 1996 and left the company to compete in the UFC full-time. Shamrock left Pancrase with a record of 17–3.
Shamrock then defended his belt against Kimo Leopoldo at UFC 8 in February 1996 in Puerto Rico. In the bout, Shamrock secured a kneebar, forcing Kimo to submit. With the win, Shamrock defended his UFC Superfight title for the second time.
After taking time off away from the octagon to heal injuries, Shamrock entered the UFC’s Ultimate Ultimate 1996 in December 1996. Shamrock appeared as a guest on the mainstream American television program Late Night with Conan O’Brien to promote the event. Frank Shamrock served as Ken’s head cornerman for the event. Shamrock’s opponent in the quarterfinals of the tournament was Judo black belt, kickboxer, and Golden Gloves champion Brian Johnston. Shamrock eventually tapped Johnston out with a forearm choke and advanced to the semifinals of the tournament. Shamrock, however, broke the same hand during this fight that kept him out of UFC 2 and had to withdraw from the tournament.
On April 5, 1995, at UFC 5, Shamrock got his rematch with Gracie in a match called “The Superfight,” which would determine the UFC Champion. At the time, Gracie had a reputation as being seemingly unbeatable. Gracie came into the octagon at 190 pounds – Shamrock cut his weight down to 205 pounds for the bout. Hours before the event, the UFC suddenly instituted a 30-minute time limit, mainly due to pay per view time constraints. Both Gracie and Shamrock were upset at the sudden rule change. Shamrock and Gracie fought for the entire allotted time of 30 minutes along with 5 minutes of overtime before the match was declared a draw. Shamrock was not satisfied with his performance against Gracie, saying “it’s certainly not a win. You gain nothing (with a draw)”. Shamrock expressed desire to fight Gracie again for a third time in 1996, saying that if it went to a draw again, he would have Gracie declared the winner and Shamrock would forfeit his UFC Superfight Championship belt to Gracie.
Shamrock was then matched up with UFC 5 tournament champion Dan Severn at UFC 6 on July 14, 1995, to determine the reigning champion of the UFC. The “superfight”, a match presented as a fight between the “best of the best”, was still the match that would determine the UFC champion and the tournament winner would be considered the #1 contender for the newly created UFC Superfight Championship (later replaced by the UFC Heavyweight Championship when weight categories were introduced to the UFC). Their feud began at the pre-fight press conference. After most of the attention from the media was given to Shamrock, Severn got up and walked out of the door without explanation. Shamrock took Severn’s action as a sign of disrespect. Severn later said that he walked out because he felt that it would be unfair to Shamrock for him to be present in the room while Shamrock was discussing his fight strategy to the media. Shamrock became even more furious when he found a newsletter back at the hotel that explained to readers how Severn was going to destroy Shamrock. During the match, Shamrock forced Severn to tap out to a choke in 2:14 to win the UFC Superfight Championship.
On September 8, 1995, at UFC 7, Shamrock successfully defended the UFC Superfight Championship against UFC 6 Tournament Champion “The Russian Bear” Oleg Taktarov. Shamrock stated in his autobiography that he was uncomfortable fighting Taktarov, as Oleg trained with the Lion’s Den and he did not wish to injure his friend and teammate. In Beyond the Lion’s Den, Shamrock states; “In addition to being his friend, I was also trying to get him into Pancrase and if I broke his leg it would be a while before he could recover and he needed the money. I figured my best chance of winning without seriously hurting him was to beat on him with punches… If I could open a cut and get him to start pouring blood, I could get a referee stoppage. It might not have been the best plan going into a fight, but considering the options it seemed like the best option available. And it turned out fine. I battered him around for the duration of the match, the bout was declared a draw and when Oleg recovered he went on to fight in Pancrase.”
As part of the UFC, he appeared as a cage fighter in the 1995 movie Virtuosity, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.
He followed up with victories over Yoshiki Takahashi, Takaku Fuke and Andre Van Den Oetelaar, and was slated to fight co-founder Minoru Suzuki on January 19, 1994. According to Shamrock, he was asked by Pancrase management not to injure Suzuki during the match, as the Japanese was already affected by a back injury. However, during the match Suzuki refused to release a kneebar after Shamrock had grabbed the ropes to escape, which injured the American’s leg and forced him to forfeit the fight. The incident angered Shamrock, but there were no consequences.
He defeated world kickboxing champion Maurice Smith and Alex Cook in the opening round of the 16-man King of Pancrase Tournament and Masakatsu Funaki and Manabu Yamada in the Second Round to become the first King of Pancrase in December 1994. With this win, Shamrock became the first ever foreign champion in MMA history in Japan. He then defended his King of Pancrase title against Bas Rutten in 1995, submitting him with a kneebar. He lost the title in his next fight against Pancrase co-creator, Minoru Suzuki.
In addition to his MMA bouts in Pancrase, Shamrock also competed in a kickboxing match in 1994 with Dutch champion Frank “The Animal” Lobman, who holds a pro record of 110-6 with a 90% KO ratio. The American had only rudimentary striking experience, but he took the fight expecting it to help him to work on proper kickboxing. Shamrock broke Lobman’s nose with a right cross early in the bout but was ultimately defeated by TKO due to leg kicks.
On September 9, 1994, Shamrock returned to the octagon at UFC 3 in an event that was marketed by the UFC as the ultimate rematch between two-time champion Royce Gracie and #1 contender Shamrock. Shamrock’s first fight, now wearing better shoes, was against top ranked judo practitioner Christophe Leininger. Shamrock’s next fight was in the semifinals against kickboxer Felix Mitchell. Shamrock defeated Mitchell with the popularized rear naked choke. With this win, Shamrock advanced to the finals of UFC 3. However, Shamrock refused to compete in the finals after he learned Gracie had dropped out of the tournament after his win over Kimo Leopoldo, combined with a knee injury he suffered during his match with Leininger.
Shamrock made his mixed martial arts debut at Pancrase on September 21. Using professional wrestling rules—no closed fisted punching to the head and breaks on the ropes—but fighting for real without predetermined finishes, Shamrock beat Funaki by arm-triangle choke in the main event of the first Pancrase show on September 21, 1993. Shamrock considered this a big victory, as it had been the first time he beat Funaki in all his time as Funaki’s apprentice, and the show attracted a sell-out audience of 7,000.
On November 12, 1993, after the first three Pancrase shows, Shamrock was introduced by his apprentice Scott Bessac to the newly formed Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a fighting tournament that would take place in America. UFC 1, was held under a one-night tournament format, but Shamrock only realized it would be real fighting after watching Gerard Gordeau knock out Teila Tuli in the first bout.
The origins of Shamrock’s mixed martial arts career began in the Japanese pro wrestling organization Fujiwara Gumi. On October 4, 1992, at the Tokyo Dome, a legitimate match between “Wayne Shamrock” (Shamrock’s ring name in Japan) and kickboxer Don Nakaya Nielsen took place. Shamrock submitted Nielsen in 45 seconds, first threatening him with a rear naked choke and then locking a neck crank/keylock combination for the win. The success of this match made young professional wrestlers Shamrock, Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki question what they had been told since entering into predetermined wrestling: that nobody would ever pay to see real matches. Shamrock, Funaki and Suzuki then founded a group of professional wrestlers and decided to pursue marketable legitimate matches. They formed a promotion called Pancrase.
In June 1990, after being inspired by Dean Malenko, Shamrock applied for the American tryouts of Japanese Universal Wrestling Federation in Florida. As it was a shoot style promotion, where real strikes and holds were used, Shamrock was put to spar legitimately against other participants, among them Bart Vale. After passing another tryout in Japan, he was eventually accepted, and in October he had his debut match in UWF, wrestling under the name of “Wayne Shamrock” and defeating Yoji Anjo. He became instantly popular and was put on a match against Masakatsu Funaki next. UWF folded shortly after, and Shamrock followed Funaki and other wrestlers to its successor promotion, Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi, led by Yoshiaki Fujiwara.
Shamrock’s fighting style has varied over the course of his career. During Shamrock’s prime, he was known as an explosive grappler with speed, power, agility, and physical strength. Fighter Mike Ciesnolevicz called Shamrock “out of this world strong”, and added “I was in awe of his strength, it was definitely something I will not forget.” Bob Shamrock, who ran a troubled boys youth home and eventually adopted Ken as his son, said, “I have had over 900 young men live with me in the past 30 years and I have never seen anyone with (Ken’s) athletic ability.” Shamrock learned the art of shoot wrestling primarily from Masakatsu Funaki in Japan and used this style during his fights in the 1990s.
At Lassen High School, Shamrock (known there as Kenny Nance) excelled in both football and wrestling. As a senior, Shamrock qualified for the state championships in wrestling, but broke his neck in practice days before the competition and underwent neck surgery. Shamrock did not receive scholarship offers from any big colleges, and doctors told him his sports career was likely over. Against doctors orders, Shamrock joined the Shasta College football team, where he was voted team captain in his final season. The San Diego Chargers of the National Football League later offered Shamrock a tryout, but Shamrock declined in order to pursue a career in professional wrestling, where he debuted in 1989 in the South Atlantic Pro Wrestling promotion.
In 1988, Shamrock trained as a professional wrestler under Buzz Sawyer, Nelson Royal, and Gene Anderson. He debuted in 1989 in Royal’s North Carolina-based Atlantic Coast Wrestling promotion under the ring name Wayne Shamrock. After ACW folded, he moved on to the George Scott/Paul Jones-run company South Atlantic Pro Wrestling (which initially promoted under the banner of the North American Wrestling Association) and changed his ring name to Vince Torelli. Later he adopted the nickname “Mr. Wrestling” and a more villainous persona.
Even though he had not started his mixed martial arts career yet, Shamrock had his first fighting experience in Fujiwara Gumi, as the results of many matches were chosen by having the wrestlers partake in competitive grappling at the gym. He had his first high level bout with Duane Koslowski, Dennis Koslowski’s twin brother and a 1988 Summer Olympics Greco-Roman wrestler, whom Shamrock submitted twice before working their actual match. A different situation happened with Kazuo Takahashi, as he broke the script and shot on Shamrock in their November 1991 match, leading the American to fight back and knock him out with a soccer kick to the face at 1:27. They wrestled a rematch in 1992, with both wrestlers working heavily stiff, though with no more incidents. Shamrock himself praised Takahashi as a wrestler, comparing him to himself.
Shamrock has been married twice. His first marriage to Tina Ramirez ended in divorce in early 2004. Together they have four children: Ryan Robert (born November 24, 1988), Connor Kenneth (born September 26, 1991), Sean Garret (born June 15, 1993) and one daughter, Fallon Marie (born July 12, 1996). In 2005, Shamrock married a woman named Tonya whom he had known since childhood. He is now stepfather to her three children. In total, Shamrock has seven kids and ten grandchildren.
Kenneth Wayne Shamrock (né Kilpatrick; born February 11, 1964) is an American bare-knuckle boxing promoter, semi-retired professional wrestler, and retired mixed martial artist and kickboxer, currently signed with Impact Wrestling. A UFC Hall of Fame member, Shamrock is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters in the history of MMA, as well as an icon and pioneer of the sport. He has headlined over 15 main events and co-main events in the UFC and Pride FC and set numerous pay-per-view records. In the early part of his UFC career, Shamrock was named “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” by ABC News in a special called “The World’s Most Dangerous Things”. The moniker has stuck as his nickname.