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Friday, 07/19/2013, 05:21 pm

EXCLUSIVE | Frank Shamrock Talks Fight Master, His Favorite Fights, and Working With BJ Penn Years Ago | Late Night Cage Side Radio

By JAKE CHASTAIN

MMA Legend and Bellator Fight Master Coach Frank Shamrock recently joined our team of Chase Raymond and Kinch on BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio. The three men talked about several different topics around the MMA circles, including Frank’s time on the new Fight Master reality show on SPIKE TV, his biggest accomplishments, and his time training BJ Penn many years ago at AKA. Here are some of the highlights from that interview with Frank Shamrock on BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio:

Frank was first asked to comment on the new reality show on SPIKE TV and how he feels about the warm reception the show has had from the MMA community. He stated, “I’m pretty stoked. I didn’t know how people were going to respond to MMA in a new format or device but, yeah, people seem to like it.”

He then explained what he thought the coolest, or strangest aspect depending on how you look at it, was about coaching on the new show.

“I think it was hanging out with the competition. Usually when we fight each other we’re not hanging out. We’re in different camps, different sides of the country often times, rarely do we every mix. Now, your biggest opposition is right next door to you. So it’s just weird to see Randy and Greg every day, and to be competing against them. But yeah, that was the coolest part to me.”

He was then asked to comment on his team on the show and what he thought about their skills. Shamrock stated, “Everybody just brought something to the team. Everybody came with really energetic hearts and open minds. So, yeah, I feel like right off the bat we had an ultimate destruction team.”

Frank was also asked to touch on what kind of approach he was taking when he was giving fighters advice to try to sway them to or away from picking him as a coach. He explained, “I just tried to be pretty honest with them, both good and bad, and give them something technical that they could use or that would help them.”

When talking about the talent level on the show Frank had many good things to say about the drive of the fighters. “You can tell the guys were hungry and really looking for something,” he said. “We were all kind of touched how much they were giving in that moment.”

When asked what shocked him most about the show Shamrock replied, “The biggest thing I think is that they just let us do whatever we wanted to do in our camps.”

He the commented on the unpredictability and excitement that the show is going to offer to the fans. “Once it got going it was just crazy because guys were making huge technical improvements, guys that were highly ranked in the house were losing in fights where people thought for certain they were going to win, so the dynamic just kept changing in the show.”

Frank Shamrock is a legend in the sport of MMA. He has held multiple belts in multiple promotions and he’s coached some great fighters in the past but he admits that when SPIKE TV and Bellator came to him and asked him to be on the show he was not convinced that they could pull it off. He explained, “I didn’t think they’d actually do it. It seemed a little visionary and crazy and sort of one of those things where I was like, ‘how are they going to get three other guys like me’? And they did.”

Shamrock is coaching against three other huge names in the fight game and he was asked what advantages he feels he has over the three other coaches on the show. He confidently replied, “I think my advantages are that I’ve been there as an athlete, I’ve been there as a coach, and I’ve also been there sort of as a business man of sorts. So I kind of get, I think, how to play the game. And yeah, I feel like I have the best chance of winning.”

Franks has retired from MMA competition but he has stayed busy outside of fighting. He was asked to comment on some of the projects he’s working on outside of Fight Master and what kept him from just relaxing during retirement.

“I realized I’m too young to be with the old guys and too old to be with the young guys so I just started doing business with my friends and helping them out. I know a lot about building brands and business, and buying and selling businesses. So I just started doing more of that. Now I’m producing films and doing some charity work. I guess I’m just trying to keep myself busy and out of trouble while my daughter is at school and waiting for her to come home.”

Shamrock was then asked to talk a little bit about the films he’s currently working on.

“I’m doing a film right now with Edward James Olmos and Anderson Silva.” Frank said. “I’m an executive producer.”

“I’m doing a movie on my life right now, actually, that will air on Spike TV,” he continued. “It’s basically my life story and it’s based on my book.”

The conversation then shifted and Shamrock was asked to talk about the best fight of his career. he couldn’t choose one but admitted that three stood out in his mind the most.

“I really had three of them. The first one was when I fought Enson Inoue because that was this huge moment when I thought I was going to die and I didn’t. And then fighting Tito [Ortiz] because he was so much bigger and everyone thought he was going to squish me and then fighting Phil [Baroni], because when I fought Phil, even though I was all crooked and broken I just had one of those nights where everything worked.”

If he could change anything about his storied career he admitted, “I wish I would have got better legal advice sooner. I wish that would have happened and I wish I would have kept my hands up more.”

Shamrock was also asked to talk about his 1996 fight with Bas Rutten in Pancrase.

“Bas and I were friends and we had a pretty long history and I think that was the second time we fought, maybe the third, but I could tell he was getting stronger and I was not,” Frank said. “So my strategy was to literally get him mad so he would punch me in the face because back then punching in the face as illegal. It was open hand only.”

 When talking about what made him the early prototype of a fighter in the early days of MMA Frank explained that he was just a nerd in the fight game and took notes on everything. “I just progressed faster than anyone else,” he said.

Frank Shamrock recently moved away from his longtime home of San Jose to pursue his dream of working in films. He has recently settled in the LA area of Ventura County and was asked to comment on how hard it was leaving San Jose after all the years he’d spent there.

 “It was tough. I’d been there for 16 years and really built the city into a fighting city and all my friends and stuff were there,” he explained. “I knew I had to pursue what my dream has always been which is being a movie producer and telling stories about martial arts.”

When speaking about San Jose the conversation shifted a little bit as Kinch asked what it was like for Shamrock to work with BJ Penn at the beginning of “The Prodigy’s” career at AKA in SJ.  

“He was really nice and relaxed and was a super amazing athlete. He had a real desire to learn the game of fighting and be a part of the whole experience,” he said. “I really enjoyed training him.”

“I’ve coached just about everybody. I even coached Dana and Lorenzo when they were training,” Frank laughingly concluded.

He was also asked to comment on how he feels he helped build the Strikeforce brand during its infant stages as a promotion. He replied, “Well I think I was the whole brand for awhile. For a couple years, until we got some good legs going and built a second wave it was pretty much me. We had a real receptive city. That was one of the biggest things. We could count on 10,000 people coming out to watch our shows.”

“There’s a huge martial arts community in San Jose.”

To close out the interview the boys over at Late Night Cage Side then took the conversation back to Fight Master and the upcoming episodes of the show. They asked Shamrock to give his opinion on who the fans should be watching as a front runner in the completion and who is going to bring a lot of excitement to the fans.

“Obviously, Joe Riggs,” he quickly stated. “I think Nick Barnes has got a lot.”

He continued, “I just think the way this thing is set up anybody can get hurt, anybody can get inured, anybody can get cut, knocked-out.”

Basically, Shamrock is saying that the show is unpredictable and the fans won’t want to miss an episode! Don’t forget to tune-in every Wednesday on SPIKE TV.

Frank also stated that the show is informative and educational for fight fans. He explained, “I think anybody that watches this show is going to know something about martial arts.”

The interview closed with Shamrock giving his thought on his own career and how he feels he’s impacted the sport and what he’s most proud about.

“I think I’m most proud of what I have been able to accomplish with what I’ve been given and the opportunities. I honestly tried to do as much as I could and tried to do the right thing for myself, for my family and for the sport. When I look back and think, I tried to do a lot of good stuff and I feel good about it.”

We would like to thank Mr. Shamrock for joining our show and spending some time with the fans here at BJPenn.com and giving us the inside scoop on the MMA scene and in Fight Master.

To listen to the entire interview with Frank Shamrock on BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio click here.

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

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