Frank Shamrock won’t be interviewed on Tuesday’s 20th Anniversary UFC documentary show on Fox Sports 1, even though he was the first UFC middleweight champion and is widely regarded as one of the best mixed martial artist of the 1990s.
Shamrock doesn’t get along with UFC President Dana White, so he’s not in the UFC Hall of Fame, nor is he shown or mentioned on any of the lists of anything associated with the UFC.
But you don’t need to go far to find Shamrock’s story told in documentary form. Earlier this month, Shamrock was featured in “Bound by Blood,” a Spike TV documentary about Shamrock’s life.
The piece tells the story of Shamrock’s rise from troubled youth adopted by Bob Shamrock, prison inmate, MMA fighter, father, husband, and MMA commentator.
Along the way the documentary reveals Shamrock’s incredible rise to the top of the sport. MMA pundits often dub Shamrock as the first true mixed martial artist, who combined force with technique and discipline. Shamrock was known for his smarts inside the cage and his ability to out-think his opponents.
Shamrock, not happy with the UFC, which at the time was struggling financially, retired as champion. He went on to win the WEC light heavyweight championship, then the Strikeforce middleweight championship.
Shamrock retired after losing to Nick Diaz in Strikeforce, but has enjoyed a successful career as a commentator and analyst.
The Spike TV documentary ends with Shamrock meeting up with his adopted brother Ken Shamrock, another UFC legend and pioneer.
The Shamrocks had a falling out more than a decade ago. Frank Shamrock always felt that Bob Shamrock favored Ken, who accused Frank of walking out on him and his father after they rescued him from the streets and turned him into an MMA superstar. The bad blood worsened when Frank Shamrock declined to attend Bob Shamrock’s funeral in 2010. Ken Shamrock said his father asked for Frank on his death bed.
The two confront each other in the documentary. Frank apologizes, and Ken has a hard time accepting it. Frank reveals that he could never forgive his father because his father chose Ken over him. Ken, in the documentary, tells Franks to toughen up because he is “a fighter.”
In a rare moment of humility among MMA fighter, Frank Shamrock, with tears all over his face, responds:
“I am not a fighter, I am human being.”
Ken Shamrock can’t believe it, and responds:
“Frank, you’re a fighter”
Frank Shamrock, with even more confidence, responds:
“I am a human being.”
Frank Shamrock’s story may be covered up in the UFC’s history book, but his rise from abused child to UFC pioneer to MMA champion to human being again, is also worth knowing.