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Ken Shamrock sounds off on fighter pay, Dana White’s role in the UFC’s growth

MMA icon Ken Shamrock has never been one to remain silent when he has a strong opinion he feels is worth sharing. Shamrock is a former UFC champion and was part of the promotion during its infancy, helping build it into what is now the sport’s leading organization.

For Shamrock, though, just being remembered doesn’t seem to be enough, and as such he’s continued to speak out against the likes of UFC President Dana White regarding pay and his role in the UFC’s growth.

“I don’t like to come in and say, ‘I’ve done this and I’ve done that,’ because really, it takes a village to make something happen. And to hear Dana White say, ‘I did this and I did that. It was me. And he didn’t do this and didn’t do that,’…well, how in the world did they get to where they were at if it was just Dana,” said Shamrock while visiting The MMA Hour on a recent episode. “Because I didn’t see him in the ring. I didn’t see Dana fighting. I didn’t see the numbers go up when they just had Tito (Ortiz) there. I didn’t see any of that.”

Shamrock went on to discuss how he helped push the UFC to the forefront during his feud with Ortiz. The two were coaches on The Ultimate Fighter and helped draw some of the biggest viewership numbers the promotion has seen to date. Shamrock, a former professional wrestler, also talked about a bone he’s had to pick for some time – fighter pay.

“They will never let you get in there and see the books,” said Shamrock in reference to a claim by White that he made $2.5 million in the company. “It’s not open. So then they make statements like that, and it doesn’t make sense.”

Shamrock will always be remembered for his role as a UFC Hall of Fame fighter, though any chance of a reconciliation between himself and White seems highly unlikely at this point for personal reasons.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

15 COMMENTS
  • Lord Faust says:

    A reconciliation between Ken Shamrock and reality also seems highly unlikely. It’s been rough watching him flail about in the last half-decade or so.

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  • darth_irritable says:

    Faust – that may be the best and most accurate statement I’ve read in the last few weeks. Shamrock is about as connected to reality as Sonnen, but at least Sonnen can still win on occasion.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    The Boss said it all: “Well time slips away and leaves you with nothing, mister, but boring stories of Glory Days.”

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    i really never liked Shamrock as a fighter, took too many dives and the easy way out too many times for me, every one has to get paid sure, but having a few morals doesnt hurt.
    i always enjoyed the stories about him being a hugely unhinged steroid abusing Lions Den coach tho

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    The difference between Shamrock and Sonnen is Sonnel is only crazy for the mic, Shamrock is crazy all the time.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    I marked out so hardcore in the old WWE days when Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock both showed up.

    It was disheartening to realise what kind of a person Ken appears to be; totally unhinged. I still get a chuckle out of the old Lion’s Den stories.

    I can’t wait for the book. You know it’s coming. I’m expecting something similar to Dustin Diamond’s “memoires”.

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Yeah the UFC and Dana are the ones telling the truth. Pfffft!
    Why the fuk people have closed minds I will never know. Shamrock saus fighters get under payed and Dana says he did things that he didnt do and you guys are like “Shamrocks crazy”.
    Danas pulled the jedi mind trick on all of you. Dana said he was.the one who first got the UFC sanctioned. He lied. Carwin got paid 40,000 for 1 of the biggest fights in UFC history.
    Dana didnt start getting the UFC sanctioned, the UFC wasnt even the first MMA org sanctioned. Dana took over after many UFC events were already held, Dana did not come up with the reality show idea (TUF) and hated it when he first heard it, Dana did not come up with the rules of modern MMA.
    I keep hearing all this BS about Dana White and when Shamrock actually tells the truth he gets called crazy. Reality, check it out sometime people.

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    In 2009 the biggest ppv was UFC 100 Lesnar vs Mir. Mir got 45,000. 2nd was Pacman vs Cotto in the boxing. Pacquiao made $22 million and Cotto $12 million.
    Shamrocks Crazy!

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    but Shamrock is crazy, mentally unhinged. not saying he isnt right about what he says about fighter pays etc but he sure as shit sint someone i’d listen to and ‘oh yeah, he’s telling the truth’
    i’m not that naive to be Dana or anyone else either.
    I think all the comments on here are purely based around Ken being a fucking nutter, not his opinions on fighter pay or anything else. everyone is just agreeing that, well, Ken Shamrock is fucking crazy

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    to believe Dana….

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Logic is a bad name for you… How about MMA UNHINGED?

    Shamrock is nuts. It doesn’t make Dana a saint, or 100% right in what he says — only a crackpot like you would see that connection.

    Shamrock is a disgruntled employee who also got his ass sued on the way out the door. Between that and all the funny business around the Kimbo fight, and his steroid usage, and off-kilter comments at times, the man has zero credibility.

    Come to think of it, you guys are two peas in a pod.

    “Wake up sheeple!”

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  • Angry Mike says:

    I don’t know if Shamrock is right or wrong or whether he’s delusional. But carrying grudges for years after he’s retired and complaining about the same grievances makes him sound old and tedious. He should shrug off any questions about those issues and tell stories about the sport and the fighters from the early days. That would make him interesting, and would preserve whatever legacy he has.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    Shamrock sued UFC over having one fight left on his contract and getting cut. UFC not only defeated Shamrock in civil court, but the judge awarded Zuffa their court costs. That means Ken Shamrock was stuck with a $175,000 legal bill. Considering Shamrock’s financial situation, I would take anything he says about Zuffa/UFC/Dana White with a grain of salt.

    And here is just a lil tid bit about the “fighter pay” experience Shamrock had as per court documents…

    ” MR. WHITE, MR. DONOHOO and the SHAMROCKS discussed prospects of a “Trilogy” or third bout between MR. SHAMROCK and MR. ORTIZ to take place on television, free to charge, to UFC and MMA fans. Those discussions involved negotiations for both a one- and two-fight deals and ended with MR. WHITE agreeing to see what could be done. At that meeting, MR. WHITE slid a $1,000,000 check across the table to MR. SHAMROCK.”

    So hot off the heels of a first round tko loss to tito, Shamrock get a million bucks up front before he ever even signed a contract and 3 months before the trilogy fight that wasn’t even a ppv card… hmm sounds like Shamrock was doing A- OK as far as ” fighter pay” goes… keep in mind this was 2006, UFC was on the rise but not exactly what it is today AND it was a million bucks up front god knows what else he got paid and it was on a fight night type card so that means no ppv revenue.

    Dana & Co. are no saints BUT Shamrock just sounds like a disgruntled ex- employee who should have been more business savy knowing the business that he is dealing in… if your making top salary and being handed million dollar checks maybe just maybe you should have a decent lawyer and accountant on retainer for your business dealings.

    and regardless If Shamrock had half a fucking clue he would realize being on good terms with UFC would do a hell of a lot more for his brand and his gyms in a post fighter career then being black balled by the leader in the sport your trying to earn a living off of… Shamrock doesn’t need a shrink he needs a life coach.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    I figured I’d read Logic’s response on here, and it’d be the same thing it always is. It’s like a broken record

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  • Sykotick says:

    If you SERIOUSLY think Carwin only got 40k for the Lesnar fight, then you need to put the pipe down. If you SERIOUSLY think Mir only got 45k for the Lesnar II fight, put the pipe down! 2 fights billed as the biggest ever and you think the fighters weren’t compensated?!
    Now, am I saying that the fighters are the best paid?? No, that’s still baseball players, but il tell you this, Carwin and Mir don’t have to worry about a cat food diet when they hit 75, you know, even though the UFC pays shit.

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