Ken Shamrock is a mixed-martial artist and former Lockeford resident who trained for several years in Lodi, first in a storefront space off Cherokee Lane and later in a makeshift dojo off Beckman Road.
Ken went on to fame in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a premier event in what has become the phenomenally successful sport of MMA.
Saturday night, (Oct. 4) this battle-scarred veteran is taking on a street brawler-turned MMA fighter named Kimbo Slice, (real name, Kevin Ferguson.) The fight is presented on the EliteEC program on CBS.
Ken and I collaborated on a biography and training guide titled, "Inside the Lion's Den."
He's a remarkable man and an extraordinary athlete. More than anyone, he pioneered the versatile style that now characterizes top-level MMA competition:
You can't just grapple, you can't just strike, you can't justkick.
You've got to be well-rounded and well-conditioned.
There are similarities between Ken and Kimbo. Both were standout football players, both worked as bodyguards (Ken also worked for a time as a bouncer in Reno) and both are familiar with the world of unsanctioned, underground bare-knuckle fights. Both are also fathers.
Ken is 44 now; Kimbo is in his early 30s.
Will Kimbo's relative youth and sledge-like striking power prevail?
Or can Ken, with his superior experience and submissions skills, win one more big one?
Of course, I'm pulling for Ken.
Either way, don't look for this one going the distance.