Shamrock gives his take on one of the most storied moments of the year in MMA.
At the conclusion of UFC 229 on October 6th, the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor with a rear-naked choke after all of the back and forth that the two fighters gave to one another. The submission victory was not the end of the action on that night as Nurmagomedov hopped over the cage and began to charge at Conor's corner-men. As all the focus was on what was going on-on the outside, Khabib's corner-men got inside the cage and began attacking McGregor.
Khabib and Conor's issues with one another run deep but things became very personal when Conor threw a dolly at Khabib's bus back in April which was filled with fellow fighters. The UFC showed footage of the attack on the build-up to UFC 229 as a way to promote the fight and many MMA insiders, fans of the sport and fighters disagreed with that decision. UFC Hall Of Famer Ken Shamrock was one who did not like the glorifying of what made Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Conor McGregor such a personal bout and he went in-depth about the situation while being profiled by 'Fighter Interviews'.
“I’d like to see someone ask them if they understand that they’re hurting the sport, even if their fan-base grows. It can possibly hurt MMA in the future with the way the public, TV and sponsors are viewing this, and the fact that Conor attacked the bus and could have put somebody’s eye out. Do you deserve to go to prison for something like that? If it happened on the street, they would be in jail. Khabib and his guys as well, for jumping an organized ring and hitting a fighter, and jumping out of a ring and going after a coach. Anybody else in the world we live in would have to go to court." Shamrock expressed. "I would also like to hear them answer the question if they would do it again if the same situation came up. When I had my thing with Tito, there was security people all around us making sure there was no way we could get to each other. Everybody knew we had a beef and that we would take every opportunity to go at one another, so they prevented it. Now I see a guy who flies his private plane with a bunch of people to the U.S. and go right into a place that is supposed to be secure and controlled, and attack a bus of fighters. How does that happen? Where is the protection of the talents and the people involved in the event? And then, when it’s time for them to fight, how can you turn your backs to the idea that these things can escalate? Not expect that there will be upset emotions after the fight? How can you not be prepared for that and not be ready to stop it? Where is the security? That’s my main issue with the whole thing. If it was wrong to use the video material from the bus incident in the promotion of the fight? Absolutely. What they did was to incite a riot. They are glorifying something that we do not want to see in the arena. We don’t mind them two fighting each other, as long as it’s between them two, but we don’t want things to escalate." Shamrock continued, "After the fight, both Conor and Khabib has received so much publicity, because of something they did wrong. Now, how do you stop other people from doing it now? You’re opening a door for all these other fighters to say, ‘Oh, that’s how you get popular’. You’re telling the younger fighters that rules don’t apply, just go ahead and do whatever you want to do to get your name out there, and we won’t suspend you.”
Shamrock added that he does not blame Conor and Khabib for acting off their emotions and he more-so placed the blame on UFC for continuously glorifying what happened between the two which only increased the already-existing tension on that night.
“Look, I’m not an angel when it comes to following rules. I was the first one in MMA who went after people, who pushed people around and put my toe over the line. But the one thing I didn’t do was to endanger other people, other than my opponent. These guys didn’t just cross the line, they blew it up, and to be honest, I don’t blame them for acting on their emotions and their desire to be great. I blame the organization for glorifying their actions and making them feel like it’s okay. If you’re going to do this you must make sure that you can protect everybody around this thing. You need enough security to control it, and that, they didn’t have that night.” Shamrock concluded.
Ken Shamrock recently made his return to wrestling for the 'Battle Championship Wrestling' promotion and to see photos of Shamrock's in-ring return, head over to his Twitter page.