There is a part of me that respects the novelty of UFC 1 semifinalist Ken Shamrock remaining a fixture in the sport. The remainder believes that as far as his health is concerned, it's a very bad idea. New Coke bad.
at the UFC's Expo last weekend, apparently at the invite of the Throwdown apparel company. At 46, Shamrock's arms still pop out of his shirt, but his face is a reminder that a middle-aged combat athlete can wear his mileage elsewhere.
The plan, according to Shamrock, is to go on a circuit of fights that only a small percentage of fans would recognize as important: a rematch with Dan Severn, a cap on his feud with David "Tank" Abbott, a grudge match with adoptive brother Frank. While this beats allowing yourself to be chewed up by a promotion looking to build its younger athletes, there comes a point when skills and physicality are so diminished that even competitive fights can turn ugly.
Shamrock has agreed to fight Pedro Rizzo in July, which may appear to be a battle of contemporaries but really isn't. Rizzo, though weathered, is a decade younger and a much better Thai boxer. Sometimes you have to just leave it alone. Fighters who insist on going out "on my own terms" rarely have terms their body finds realistic.