Frank Shamrock

Frank Shamrock hit the ground running when he finally joined the UFC in late 1997, winning the inaugural light-heavyweight title in his debut with a 16 second submission win over Kevin Jackson.

Shamrock quickly established himself as a star as he racked up another three title defenses in the space of a year, all ending inside the distance.

Then came a blockbuster title fight against rising star Tito Ortiz, who he’d submit with punishing ground and pound, sending his stock soaring at an all-time high, before sending jaws crashing to the floor by vacating his title and leaving the UFC.

At the time in 1999 the UFC was struggling from financial difficulties and political pressure,  and Shamrock had decided he didn’t want to put his health on the line for relatively low pay.

Shamrock also didn’t see eye-to-eye with Dana White, so when Zuffa bought the company he stated away, and instead only fought twice in the five years that followed, including a single appearance in PRIDE and a title win in the WEC title promotion, before seeing out his career in Strikeforce, where he’d win their middleweight title.

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