T Nation

Alternate UFC Universe


We all know that Royce Gracie's win in UFC 1 and his family jiu jutsu paved the way for MMA. But would have happen if his first match against Ken Shamrock was a lost. I mean how much of an impact would that have made towards the Martial Arts and how would the future of MMA be like?


It would still be the same. Shamrock lost and he still has an impact on the sport.

Ground fighting was the impact on Martial Arts, not BJJ.


MMA was already big in Japan when the first UFC was held in the US. The concept was new to us, but not to a lot of the rest of the world. Shamrock wining UFC one would have made him a bigger name at that time maybe, but I still think the Gracies would have figured out a way to promote themselves and get thier name out there.

Royce does get credit for popularizing ju-jitsu and grappling in the US, but I think he gets too much credit for being the sole reason that MMA is as big as it is now. Better to say he led the way, along with Shamrock and some others.


I am a new fan to MMA but has Ken Shamrock ever been any good?

The only 2 fights I have seen of his are the Ortiz and Franklin fights they have been showing on Spike. He looked terrible in both fights.

I think he has a horrible record too.

He has the appearance of a great fighter but as far as I can tell he sucks.


ken threw fight against rich franklin.

hope this helps


A lot of people raise this issue about Ken, in a recent Gracie Mag I believe Royce? went so far as to call him a "made up fighter." A lot of his popularity with the fans came from his stint in professional wrestling (world's most dangerous man my ass).

But, despite all this he was one of the first guys to put everything together into a complete package (ground and stand-up), and he had some great wins in his career. The game has passed him by I think, and I don't see a different outcome for Shamrock-Tito 2.


Agreed, it wouldn't have made that much of a difference. As much as there was a surge in BJJ interest after the first few UFCs, there was still a surge in MMA schools as well. The only difference is maybe there'd be more initial interest in Shoot schools or whatever other styles were in the UWF and Pancrase when Shamrock was in Japan.

Eventually a BJJ guy would have won, and you'd see the same thing.

In the end you'd still be in the same place we are today--when you're allowed to strike and have take downs and ground work, there are only so many ways of fighting. And so styles are pretty convergent these days (because all the shit that doesn't actually work tends to get scrapped). I mean UFC "style" doesn't look a whole lot different than San Shou, Shoot fighting, Kano's original Judo (which had striking), etc. Punch, kick, elbow, knee, clinch, takedown, pin, submit. Thats all it boils down to.


Shamrock has been around the game since 93, accordign to his record on Sherdog. He started out in Japan and through the early 90's was dominating the Pancrase fights in Japan. From 93 through 96 he was 23-3-2. Not too damn shabby.

Since 2000 though he's 3-5, last loss in Japan agaisnt Sakuraba in 2005.


I thought I saw a graphic of that said he was something like 14-7 going into the Franklin fight. I may be mistaken.


Ken's brother was the true badass of the family.


Sherdog lists him at 26-10-2, would have been 26-8-2 going into Franklin.


Agreed, Frank Shamrock was a great technician and had some exciting fights. He runs an MMA academy in San Jose, CA I believe. I don't know if he still competes, though.


Frank just fought in the first-ever scantioned MMA event in California, winning over longtime rival Cesar Gracie by KTFO in round 1.

He's also announced that he's going to reenter MMA competition.

The thing that really kept Ken from being a real danger in the early UFCs was that he kept breaking things (ankles, wrists) and being forced to leave the tournaments. If you go back and watch, he and Royce were really being promoted as the two "heroes" of the org.

Ken's fight against Tito was his first after coming back from the WWF and he claims that a knee injury kept him from doing anything except standing and banging which was his downfall. So, saying his time in the WWF was responsible for his popularity isn't strictly true. IIRC, his excuse against Franklin was that he went down two weight classes and didn't have any energy.

But yeah, he's way past his prime. Hell, despite his complaints of the fight being rigged, the KO by Sakuraba was embarassing (and if you watch the tape, the ref made the right call, although it was eerily reminiscent of Sakuraba's first match in the UFC).

Hell, in Pancarase, he beat Bas Rutten - twice!


They have the Saku-Shamrock fight on Youtube, but you have to be a logged member to view it for some reason.

The knockout was a lot like the Lidell -Randleman knockout. Very brief, but he was definitely out.


Shamrock is old. The fact that he was even competing at that level while in his early 40's (or something) is pretty amazing. He was extremely good in his prime.


Shamrock in the early ufc days was great. A true technician of the style. I think him going into wwe hurt his career though. He was past his prime when he fought Ortiz, and Franklin.


I forgot about that. Bas Rutten is a total badass and one cool guy as well. His commentary in Pride is priceless.

Beating him was no mean feat.


Ken is just one of those guys who everybody kinda loves to hate ,people say he never won a tournement,he has no real skill,etc,etc....but the fact remains he is a pioneer in the sport and is still fighting today at 42.Ken did coach a fairly large group of sucessfull fighters in his day, including Frank Shamrock,and to say he has no skill or he sucks is pretty ignorant. But the sport has passed him by in alot of ways and it's a shame he's not 10 years younger because he really is a gifted athlete (even more so than Tito) but ken's fighting a war against father time and it would be a shame to see him go out in a bad way


and sorry but the saku fight was total B.S.........Pride wants saku/vanderlai 4 that's all,they couldn't risk having saku lose.Ken could have easily continued and i would go so far as to say he could have beaten saku.


Shamrock still has good skills, but his biggest problem is he has no chin. It seems like he takes a huge shot in every fight and can't recover from it. I think he was told over and over that he needed to get good at stand-up, so he listened a bit too much, forgot about his ground game and his defense, and tried to strike with more gifted strikers. That's how he keeps getting knocked out.

Royce Gracie is the biggest influence on MMA in the history of the sport. I do agree that it could have been Rickson, or probably any of the other brothers, but it wasn't. Royce got the shot and he hit it. Fact is those fights in Japan pre-UFC were great, but off the radar. They were no huge influence on MMA in America because few watched them. After Royce Gracie, who showed a little, weak looking, man can fight, the sport exploded.