Combat Sports

Why Ken Shamrock Was So Dangerous in the Octagon

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What does it take to be the best within the octagon? This question has been debated since the inception of the UFC and it is just as valid today. However, there is no doubt that some fighting legends stand head and shoulder above their modern counterparts. One striking example (pun intended) is Ken Shamrock. What traits allowed Shamrock to be such a dangerous man? Let’s take a look at why this personality still ranks as one of the top fighters of all time.

A Background in Strength Training

The majority of UFC fighters tend to be slim and trim in these modern times. Those who are indeed classified as heavyweights often hold a few extra kilograms around the midsection. This was certainly not the case with Shamrock. As he came from a weight training background, he possessed impressive muscular agility and a host of fast-twitch fibers; a dangerous combination for those who stood toe-to-toe with him during his prime in the latter half of the 1990s. His sheer strength alone was able to overcome countless opponents and he even gave Royce Gracie a run for his money.

A Knowledge of Ground and Pound

Some of us can still recall the halcyon days of the UFC when many fighters would take on the role of a boxer. Of course, this all changed when the Gracie family entered the octagon. The main issue was that the vast majority of fighters (with a few exceptions such as Dan Severn) had little to no experience on the ground. This is another trait that sets Shamrock apart. Having grown comfortable with both wrestling and Jiu-jitsu, he was much more challenging when on his back. When we then remember that he was also quite strong, it becomes clear to see why even Gracie took so long to eventually emerge the victor.

A Winning Personality for Ken Shamrock

Finally, Ken Shamrock had the determination to work through the pain and exhaustion. While some may rightfully call the man egotistical, this very same trait undoubtedly served him while in the ring. However, he also tended to be a gracious loser with only a handful of exceptions. These are some of the reasons why psychology plays such an important role within any fighting style; especially the UFC.

The good news is that Ken Shamrock is still quite active in the sport. Although the verdict is still out in regards to if he plans on returning to the octagon, he has certainly made his presence known. This is why few would argue that he can easily be classed within the top ten UFC fighters of all time.

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