UFC's original star emerges to lead Strikeforce on the national stage. For Shamrock, the consummate showman, it's all business this Saturday night, on a national stage. On the precipice of his fight with Nick Diaz, Shamrock spoke to HispanicBusiness.com.
A contingent of nervous CBS executives was frantically pacing behind closed doors and the men in suits were about to panic. The opponent for the network's mixed martial arts cash-cow, Kimbo Slice, injured himself two hours before the fight, leaving Slice without a challenger, and CBS without a main event for its fall primetime network MMA show.
After a disastrous rating for the network's summer "Saturday Night Fights" card, the show needed to deliver in the ratings or else. In essence, the future off MMA on primetime network TV hung on the success of the show.
One of then men in the tension-filled room that afternoon was Frank Shamrock, a mixed martial arts legend, who was also CBS' color commentator for the network's first two shows. After about an hour of batting around ideas for how to save the show, Shamrock raised his hand and said, "I'll fight Kimbo."
There were chuckles. Nobody really believed him. Frank said it again. The laughter faded. Now it was getting intriguing.
Jumping from the broadcast booth into the cage to fight a man that weighed 50 pounds more than him would have been ratings gold, the kind of real-life cartoon drama that even the WWE's Vince McMahon would be envious of.
But that's also the kind of stuff that the 36-year-old Shamrock loves.
He's the sport's most charismatic star. He's fearless. And ultimately, he's a showman.
"What Race Are You?"
When you are born with the name Frank Alisio Juarez, you'd think you'd know you are Hispanic. But it never dawned on young Frank, who grew up poor largely on the streets in Santa Monica. His white mother and stepfather raised him after his birth dad abandoned the home. His reality check came when he was 11 years old, when his fists landed him in Juvenile Hall, and the guards asked him, "What race are you?"
A skinny Frank was about to learn not only that he was Mexican-American, but that fighting would be his ticket out of poverty and into history.
At age 11, he was declared a ward of the state of California. He bounced around in various foster homes. It looked like his Frank's fate was sealed: just another poor, reckless kid who gets in trouble and winds up prison, or worse.
But at the age of 13, Frank found his savior in the form of a man named Bob Shamrock, who ran a group home for troubled teens. The elder Shamrock instilled values and a sense of pride in him. The group home was where he also met an older teen named Kenneth Wayne Kilpatrick. The two would eventually bond with each other and the elder Shamrock. Bob Shamrock adopted them and they became Frank and Ken Shamrock, two of the greatest mixed martial artists in the history of the sport.
It's the day before the fight and Frank Shamrock is hunkering down.
His latest blog posting on FrankShamrock.com reads, "its time to get serious. i am taking off to the hotel and getting ready to cut some weight. i was 185.2 when i got up so its nothing of a cut. looking forwrd to that BARBQ after. nick is gonna die. i love this sport. see you all at the weigh ins. frank "
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