"They get to see that we aren’t different than they are, we just have a different job. When people see a guy go in and he gets knocked out, they worry about him, but they don’t get to see the struggle that that guy goes through after he’s been knocked out. He lost and now he’s gotta try to fight his way back up and his efforts to try to get everything around him back solid again...Yeah, it really is and they get to see the pain on their face. That’s something that is heart wrenching for fans to get close to that," stated UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock, who shared his thoughts on how social media has changed the promotion of MMA and fighters.
PC: You have "The World’s Most Dangerous Podcast" out now. This isn’t the typical MMA podcast. You will be covering a variety of topics. Tell us a little bit about it.
KS: Yeah, my business partner, Des Woodruff, we have been working together for quite some time and we looked at a combination of a bunch of things that we saw happening out there. You have these people pitching ideas for businesses and you have people starting their own podcast. You start to see these things develop. And having an entrepreneur most of my career, which is Des, you look at things and create stuff and build opportunities in businesses. And with his creative mind, we were looking at these different things and with my history and some of the stories that I told, me and him just got together and said, "You know whatk man, we should do a podcast. But ours gotta be different because there are so many of them out there." Well, how are we different? One thing is I don’t know anybody doing a podcast that was there in the beginning. Some of the stories that I could tell from being in the locker room and the different fights and how some of them set up, and even when they shut down and they loaded up the ring and threw it on a plane and went to Dothan, Alabama overnight and did the fight and gave away the tickets. All of the stuff that went on behind the scenes. Tank Abbot running into a light before he had to go in; all of these little things that not too many guys know about because it was so long ago. But it’s fun to know the history of some of the things that’s transpired.
Also, we looked at what was going on in the world and it seems like there are so many opportunities for people to have opportunities to get famous, whether it’s through the media or through TV or the internet. But more than anything, they have opportunities to be creative and pitch their ideas to people who have money. Instead of going into a bank like the old days and asking for a loan and people giving you a loan, now all of a sudden you can actually go and pitch an idea to somebody and bring them on board with you and just be creative and let them help you build a business. Then it’s on the internet or you’re on TV or in the media doing it and you’re making money. It’s that Rocky story, but in the business world. So we thought, “Let’s do that with our podcast. Let’s do 'The Lion’s Cage,' where people come in and pitch their ideas and we could bring a celebrity on board and help market it and build it and come up with some ideas from theirs and move along side of them.” Nobody is doing it through a social media site. You see it on TV, so we wanted to be the first. We think it’s going to take off. We done our first one and it went good and we got so many of them lined up now and we are waiting to pitch ideas. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be stories and story time with me, where I’m going to just reminisce on the old days, talk about some of the locker room stuff and some of the things that transpired in the early days, and have fun with it and enjoy it.
But then also too, we’re getting into the political part of things where we talk about the things happening in the world today with Vegas and so many people jumping up and pulling the trigger and killing innocent people. And what’s the reason behind that? Why is all of this stuff happening? The football, where Trump stands up and says you can’t be an American to speak your mind and then the players taking it too far by doing those things and insulting people and forgetting what their message is about. There is just a lot of stuff going on in the world and we don’t want to just be handcuffed to MMA. We want to be diversified. We want to just be able to talk and just be free.
PC: It definitely doesn’t sound like you guys will be toeing any lines and any time you cross over into discussing politics or worldly issues, you’re going to get some interesting feedback I’m sure.
KS: Yeah! It’s going to be a love-hate thing. They are either going to love you or hate you and the one thing I always try to make sure I get my point across is to say, “Listen, it’s just an opinion. It’s not written in blood.” So let’s talk about it and give your opinion, but don’t hate. That’s what’s wrong with the world today. People can’t express themselves without someone wanting to shoot 'em.
PC: You’re speaking on how different this podcast will be and how you plan on using social media to open up dialogue through your podcast as well. I always think about things like this when it comes to social media; imagine if Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz had social media to promote the first fight between you guys. Imagine how big that would have been.
KS: It’s really true. The one thing that I really love is being able to mingle and being able to listen to my fans. I like to hear people’s thoughts and some of the things they thought about the fight and just the stories they tell. I like to hear what the fans have to say, good and bad. With social media back then, man, that would have been something I would have really enjoyed. Without that, I don’t believe that you really can’t have an opportunity to enjoy a career and something that you love doing without having those people around you to share that with.
PC: I think it also helps to show who you guys are. I think if you look at fighters, especially from the past, you guys were looked at as brute competitors; almost animal like. I think social media has shown that fighters are regular guys that just so happen to fight for a living.
KS: They get to see that we aren’t different than they are, we just have a different job. When people see a guy go in and he gets knocked out, they worry about him, but they don’t get to see the struggle that that guy goes through after he’s been knocked out. He lost and now he’s gotta try to fight his way back up and his efforts to try to get everything around him back solid again. You see a guy gets a cut or a broken leg or he blows a knee out, there is so much more media attention to that with all sports now that fans are really getting to understand what it is that we go through. They are feeling the same things that we feel when they get up in the morning and maybe they have the flu or they hurt themselves at work and they gotta miss a month or a couple of weeks and they are not getting paid and they see professional athletes going through the same things where there are days that we miss and it’s a struggle for us. Well, that’s no different when a regular guy at work got injured at work and he has to miss and it’s a struggle for him as well. They are living a life that they are used to living and they have family and bills and kids. We are all living this world and life together, at different levels, no question about that, because as you become more successful on any job, you get to do more things. But we are all susceptible to breaking something or getting injured or getting hurt to where we have to miss work or getting fired. These are all struggles that now social media really brings up close and personal in the professional sports arena.
PC: I think the light social media has shed on the weight cutting process has been very eye opening.
KS: Yeah, it really is and they get to see the pain on their face. That’s something that is heart wrenching for fans to get close to that.
BE SURE TO CHECK BACK FOR MUCH MORE WITH UFC HALL OF FAMER KEN SHAMROCK!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]