One of the biggest stars in the early days of the UFC, Ken Shamrock headlined multiple events during that period and won the ‘Superfight Championship’ along the way, before going on to compete in PRIDE and also be a star in the WWE organization.
In 2002 Shamrock returned to the UFC and again topped the bill on many shows, including a trilogy against Tito Ortiz, before ultimately being released again four years later after a dissapointing 1-4 run.
Given his star power during the height of his career the natural assumption was that Shamrock had done well for himself financially, but years later after the hall-of-famer attempted to sue the UFC for not letting him complete the final fight of his contract and then accusing them of underpaying fighters, dana White angrily revealed that Shamrock was actually completely broke when he came back to the promotion,
“Ken Shamrock filed a bogus lawsuit against us and lost,” White fumed to reporters in 2012. “He owes us that money. Do you know what I’ve done for Ken Shamrock? Ken Shamrock, when I brought him over, he was broke – flat [expletive] broke. He was in income-tax trouble. His knee was shot.
“I rebuilt his knee. I got him out of income-tax trouble, fronted him a [expletive]-load of money. We gave him money – literally gave him money – $60,000. We gave him $60,000 just to get him back on his feet. You know how much money he made in the two fights he fought with us? $2.5 million.
“[Expletive] you Ken Shamrock.”
Shamrock was left facing $175,000 in legal fees from the court case, but White eventually waived that off after burying the hatchet with the fighter two years later.