When MMA fans started complaining about CM Punk’s signing with the UFC and how pro wrestling has no place in their MMA (seriously, it’s all about THEM, isn’t it?), the first person that I thought about was Ken Shamrock. Why did I think about Ken Shamrock? Because the former UFC Superfight Champion and former King of Pancrase began his career training to be a professional wrestler. Many remember Shamrock making the transition from the UFC to WWE (nee WWF) in the late 90’s, where his UFC credentials helped to make him a star in the WWF’s “Attitude Era.”
Ken Shamrock wrestled in high school as well as played football, his football career continuing on into college after a neck injury. When the NFL came knocking for tryouts Shamrock instead opted to step into the professional wrestling ring, which eventually led him to Japan where he wrestled for Fujiawara Gumi, a “shoot style” pro wrestling organization that was making the transition from worked matches into legitimate “shoot” matches. This led to the formation of Pancrase and the rest, as they say, is history.
So if anyone was an example of switching from professional wrestling to MMA (then back again) it would be Ken Shamrock. Shamrock spoke with Submission Radio about the signing of CM Punk. Ken seems to be critical of fighters who are complaining about the signing of CM Punk, noting that Punk is going to draw some serious money and that fighters should be trying to earn a spot either fighting Punk or fighting on the same card, which will undoubtedly be seen by many, many eyes.
When asked about his chances in a fight, this is where Shamrock kind of crumbles a bit. He cites CM Punk’s “collegiate” career and background, which is non-existent. In fact, CM Punk didn’t even go to college. He was training in pro wrestling from high school on and his life was literally professional wrestling, starting out in backyard wrestling before moving into being properly trained and moving into the indies. Shamrock, still, claimed that with the right training CM Punk could win against guys “of his caliber.”
While I’m not sure that assessment is far off, it’s still funny that he just invented a college career for Punk. He does recommend that Punk aims for a short UFC career, though, due to his age, to look to make money and then get out, possibly return to professional wrestling for bigger money. He also talks a lot about how he’d love to help him out.
I don’t know, when I heard that Punk was interested in fighting the first name that came to mind as a guy he could probably beat and for it to be a worthwhile endeavor I thought about Ken Shamrock in Bellator.