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Former WWE Intercontinental Champion, NWA/TNA Heavyweight Champion, UFC Hall of Famer and overall MMA Legend Ken Shamrock wants you to know about his new moniker; President of Valor Bare Knuckle. VBK is a new MMA promotion that is ready to change Combat Sports forever start LIVE September 21 on PPV and the FITE TV App. Ken discusses why he and his business partners started the promotion, how Bare Knuckle fighting is a challenging skill to develop, thoughts on returning to Pro Wrestling plus Ken shares his desire to use his platform to help others. (16:15 Mark):
Personally Being a Well Rounded Fighter (17:14)
I think it came from when I was growing up as a kid in and out of group homes and on the street. To survive on the street if you got on the ground you better learn how to fight and get back up and if you’re on your feet you better know how to throw. As I got older and started competing, because of where I came from on the street, in the ring I believed the same thing early on before anyone started thinking about it. I believed in being Well-Rounded and not having a weakness. I started training in the Muay Thai and then wrestling, boxing, leg submission, catch wrestling, Jui Jitsu, Sambo you name it man I trained in everything. Mentally I felt I should not be weak at anything. I had to be strong in all aspects of the Combat Sports fight game!
Being A Great Fighter (18:56)
I think I was ahead of my time. When I was over in Pancrase I fought Don Nakaya Nielsen who was a Muay Thai World Champion. I fought Frank Lober in literally a Muay Thai Fight. I was always pushing the envelope whereas most people were either good at submission or good a striking. I think me and Masakatsu Funkai were really the only two that were pushing both. We realized in order to be great at something you had to be great at everything.
Why launch Valor Bare Knuckle (19:57)
It’s my passion. Early on I felt Bare Knuckle is pure, real and there is no equipment that makes you good or better. It’s just you; God Given Talent. I fell in love with that early on but then it was taken away because some guy named Tank Abbott walked into UFC, put on some 4 ounce gloves and started knocking some fools out. All of a sudden the company embraced it, at the time they were doing tournaments.They realized they could put a glove on somebody, knock people out and come back and fight in the next fight, as opposed to if you weren’t wearing gloves it was a little bit more difficult because you had to be careful where you were throwing punches because if you weren’t you could bruise your hand up and not come out and fight again. Here’s the thing with that; the reason why I fell in love with it is because it was more strategic. You couldn’t be a person going out there throwing bombs, you had to be a real strategic puncher and a more accurate puncher in order to succeed in a Bare Knuckle Tournament. You had to be very accurate with your strikes. I fell in love with it man and then it was gone because they adopted the gloves and then they sold it as being more safe which that just is not true. So now we have a chance to bring it back. We can educate people on what it really is and give people an opportunity to decide if they want to watch it or not watch it. I’ll tell you this; Bare Knuckle Fighting is it’s own beast. If you see a Boxer or MMA Guy or Wrestler try to come in and do Bare Knuckle they won’t have the success in the last sport that they were in unless they can transition into Bare Knuckle the way Bare Knuckle is supposed to be fought.
What fans can expect at the Valor Bare Knuckle 1 PPV Event (23:37)
If you’re a Combat Sport fan, this is a much faster event. If you watch, MMA, Boxing, Kickboxing or Wrestling; Bare Knuckle Fighting is so much faster. The punches you throw is not like someone can throw a jab and you eat the jab and keep going. If you eat the jab it hurts! In Bare Knuckle those strikes matter. So when you land a punch you’ll get credit for that punch. They’re going to feel it and you’ll know they feel it. It’s a much faster and much more exciting fight. Most of the fights will be finished. You won’t have a lot of them going to a draw like you do now in MMA or even in Boxing. You’re not going to be able to lay on the ropes and lay over here and lay over here; in Valor Bare Knuckle you’re going to have to fight. We want to make sure the fans get an exciting visual Combat Sport they can enjoy.
Valor Bare Knuckle 1 PPV Card (25:55)
I like the idea of the fights; Mark Godbeer vs Jack May and Mighty Mo vs Rameau Sokoudjou. These are big hitters. These are Heavyweight guys that are going to come out and throw some bombs and they’re going to be accurate. Only one guy on the Main Card has Bare Knuckle experience and that’s Mark Godbeer. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not that is an advantage. Like I said Bare Knuckle is different. Most people don’t realize it until they get in the ring and start doing it, but it’s different. You got Ishe Smith and Estevan Payan in the Co-Main Event. You have a ex World Champion Boxer in Ishe Smith and Estevan Payan who is a well decorated MMA Fighter. Which one of these guys is going to be able to adopt that Bare Knuckle concept? It really is about controlled aggression. You can’t just go in there and start throwing bombs man. You gotta be picking your shots and you gotta know when it’s time to finish. It’s a different beast and I’m looking at this card; I know there is a lot of talent. But I want to know who will be able to transition what they’ve done in the past into Bare Knuckle September 21st at the 4 Bears Casino in New Town North Dakota and on PPV.
Does Ken Shamrock Still Get The Itch To Return to Pro Wrestling on a Large Stage (28:23)
I do and right now I’m really looking to see what the opportunities are out there. I know I have some interest. There’s a little bit of smack talking going on with Impact Wrestling stars Moose and “The Machine” Brian Cage. I’m doing stuff over with BCW. I’m looking at Impact Wrestling, AEW; there’s a lot of things right now that I’m looking at. We’ll see what happens and we’ll see where the flow takes me. Somebody better tell Moose he better wear pants because those chicken legs are embarrassing. I’m salivating over those legs!
Bringing Tapping Out to WWE (31:09)
You gotta think about it; before I was there they didn’t have tapouts. They had I Quits or you had to verbally give up. Before I got there they didn’t have tapouts and now you see it all of the time; it’s part of wrestling. There are also submissions coming left and right. The impact they felt with Ken Shamrock is undeniable.
Using the Ken Shamrock Platform to Help Others (32:22)
Each and every day I’m trying to always be better and do more. I don’t ever want to be satisfied or comfortable. The more successful I am the more opportunities I have to help other people to reach their goals too. Then I have the ability to do things like Valor BK 1 and be able to give people the opportunities to follow their dreams in fighting. Being in Pro Wrestling where I get the opportunity to bring my name back out there and be able to go to these kids’ shelters for at risk kids and be able to talk to them, motivate them and give them some direction so they can be successful. In order for me to do that I have to keep striving to keep my name out there and be relevant so I can use that to help other people.
Ken shares his admiration for his Valor Bare Knuckle Partners and Team Members and details why they put this promotion to together. Hear the rest on the latest edition of the Duke Loves Rasslin Podcast on Soundcloud, Itunes, Youtube and other leading Podcast Apps!Click Here: