In 1993, Ken Shamrock, aka The World's Most Dangerous Man, lost to Royce Gracie at UFC 1 in 57 seconds. The two had a rematch in 1995 at UFC 5 that would last 36 minutes with Shamrock controlling the fight only to end as a draw since judges had not yet been introduced to the sport. Over 20 years later, a 52-year-old Shamrock would have his chance to settle the score with the man who had always been in the back of his mind at Bellator 149 in Houston, Texas.
Kenneth Kilpatrick had been fighting since he was born in 1964. He ran away from home when he was 10-years-old and by the time he was 14 he had been in and out of several group homes and juvenile centers before landing at Bob Shamrock's Boys' Home. Unlike other group homes, Bob had a different way of settling disagreements between troubled teens – if both youths agreed – they'd box in the back yard. Ken connected with Bob who later adopted the teen and changed his name to Ken Shamrock.
In high school, Ken played football and was on the wrestling team where during practice for the state tournament he broke his neck. Doctors told him that his career in athletics would be over but after the surgery he was back to training. He played football in college and was offered a tryout with the NFL but chose to pursue a career as a professional wrestler instead. While climbing the ranks in the local wrestling scene he would participate in street fights to make extra money until a friend introduced him to the world of mixed martial arts. Ken began fighting professionally in mixed martial arts events around the world during the 1990's where he became a champion in the three largest promotions – Pancrease, Pride and the UFC.
After a storied career, age appeared to catch up to Shamrock who stepped away from the sport in 2010 after winning only 3 of his previous 12 fights. A few years later in 2015, Shamrock came back to fight the street fighting legend Kimbo Slice under the Bellator banner. After losing the fight he told the promotor he wanted a rematch with his nemesis, Royce Gracie, and his wish was soon granted.
Over 3 months before the third fight with Royce Gracie, Ken, along with two of his sons, Ryan and Sean, moved into a friends home in Dallas, Texas to train with his former training partner and mma legend in his own right, Guy Mezger. They would train multiple times a day working on striking, takedown defense and conditioning with Sean working as one of his sparing partners while Ryan kept his fathers nutrition in check and help keep his many appointments, training sessions and media obligations in order. At 52-years-old, training to fight Royce Gracie also meant fighting against Father Time. Shamrock faced several injuries during camp that he attributed to getting older and being hard on his body for so many years.
After months of training, the fight came. Ken was healthy and ready to settle the score with Gracie. Unfortunately, Ken was hit with an illegal knee below the belt during the 1st round that was missed by the ref and the fight was stopped as he could no longer defend himself from the punches of Gracie. Ken has filed an appeal with the TDLR to have the fight ruled a “no contest” and is pushing for another rematch.