Frank Shamrock – Gracie, Cung Le & Strikeforce
By Dave Carpinello
PDG: The last time we talked was at the StrikeForce event. What have you been up to since?
Frank: I have just been ruling the universe and kicking asses on my way. Financing, business, training, movies, site design!!
PDG: The next StrikeForce event is in March. Are you going to be on that fight card?
Frank: I hope so I would like to fight Renzo Gracie but I don’t know what his problem is. I think he is spending too much time at acting school and is still looking for his sack. When we put an offer out there and he has not yet taken it.
PDG: At the last StrikeForce event, Cung Le challenged you to a fight and you accepted. Why don’t you fight him in March?
Frank: If I can’t kick Gracie’s butt then I guess it will be Cung. I would love to fight Cung and I am sure he would have no problem accepting the fight. He is just not smart enough to realize that I am going to smash him.
PDG: Were you impressed by his victory over Sam Morgan?
Frank: I was surprised he didn’t have a heart attack. He looked terrible and I think it is because he was filming a movie and neglecting his training. I don’t think it was a good display of his skills.
PDG: Would you say that Morgan exposed some of his weaknesses?
Frank: I could see that he was still scared to get hit in the face. He showed that he has good martial skills and kicking but he looked very tired at the end of the fight.
PDG: Is StrikeForce going to be involved in any cross promotional events in 2008?
Frank: I think there is going to be a least one per year. I am thinking of starting my own promotion so that all my friends can beat each other up.
PDG: What would you call it?
Frank: MMA entertainment; it would be in a sunken box, no cage, no ring. I think the ring and the cage get in the way. If you want to see people really beat each other up you need to get rid of all that other stuff. You know stadium style seating and a sunken chute box in the center.
PDG: How serious are you about this idea?
Frank: I think it is something we will probably do in 2009. I haven’t yet had a lot of time to work on it. I’ve been spending most of my time trying to set up the Shamrock versus Shamrock fight.
PDG: I read that Gary Shaw is working on the promotional side to get that fight signed.
Frank: My company and Ken’s Co. are setting up the fight. Gary is also working on the financial side of the deal. This fight is definitely going to happen and right now we are just looking at different media outlets to decide which one we will air the fight. This fight is going to be bigger than the sport and it should be a mainstream event. It is a once in a lifetime event so we are going to probably have multiple promotions involved. I think it is a story that speaks to the mass public and media.
PDG: Do you think that some fans and people outside of mix martial arts will look at two brothers fighting each other in a negative way?
Frank: Oh sure, I am sure they will. Some people already have a negative view of our sport but when people actually watch it and see what mixed martial arts is all about they usually change their opinion. It will be great for the sport and a lot of people want to see the fight. It is kind of like when the first UFC happened, viewers were all curious about which style would prevail. We are going to be asking the same question; which brothers’ style will prevail?
PDG: Will this fight happen in 2008?
Frank: No, we are planning on the first quarter of 2009. We want to make sure that we do it right so fans will have to wait just a little while. There is only one chance to do this right and tell the story how it should be told. Ken and myself are going to be in control. We are not going to let some promoter come in and make up their own story. The truth is always more powerful than the other crap that they come up with.
PDG: I saw your new Youtube video with you and Cung Le sparring. Can you tell the readers what they can expect if they click the link to watch the video?
Frank: Laughs. It is one of my mockumentaries about Cung Le. I like him but I don’t think he is grasping the reality of what I am going to do to him. I don’t think he understands what he is getting himself into. The video is a spin off of a MasterCard commercial. It is a sparring session from seven years ago. I used to be his sparring partner back then because they were always looking for tough partners for him to train with. I was the only guy tough enough to get in there with him. Back then I didn’t have a whole lot of standup in my repertoire. It is a good video because I want the public to see him look good before I smash him.
PDG: Do you think he has improved since that sparring session?
Frank: I don’t see much improvement but I think he has been working on his ground game. In the meantime I have been working on my standup game. I know so much about the world of mixed martial arts; it is ridiculous and Cung is just a baby in the sport.
PDG: How is the new company coming along?
Frank: Fantastic; business is great and we are just finishing up a financing round for our entertainment company. The martial arts school is absolutely killing it and soon we will have a franchise model available for expansion. We will start with California and spread from there. The new company MMA stars is fired up now and we just signed Shomie Carter. We currently have other deals in the works with different athletes and we are basically offering them a new way to learn about all of the other stuff that comes along with a career in mixed martial arts. Such as financial planning, business ventures, public speaking and management. We are also going to show them how to teach martial arts and become bodyguards. The website is www.MMAstars.com. Things couldn’t be better and my wife is going to be having our baby on May the third. So I am trying to get as much work done as I can before that so that I can spend some time at home.
PDG: At the StrikeForce event, one of your up and coming fighters Clint Coronel suffered a defeat by unanimous decision after a great fight. How is he doing and when will he fight again?
Frank: He is doing great, that fight broke his heart. He has had four tough decision losses in a row. I think it may be something in his head that is holding him back but he is back to training and teaching again. He is going to fight again in February and I’m going to send them on the road so that he can go out and get the feeling for different arenas, different cages and different rings. I think that maybe he went too far too fast and now maybe he is holding back a little bit so hopefully the experience of seeing that there’s more out there besides the HP Pavilion will help him grow as a fighter.
PDG: Last question. Who are you taking to win the fight Saturday night? Chuck or Wanderlei?
Frank: I hope Chuck beats him. I have nothing against Wanderlei but the one time I did meet him; he wasn’t very nice to me. Chuck has always been very cool so I am picking Chuck.
PDG: Thanks for your time Frank and enjoy the new year.
Frank: Thank you and have a good one.