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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
The UFC's Hall of Fame will add Tito Ortiz next week at the UFC Fan Expo before UFC 148, but while Ortiz marks a deserving addition to the field, one name continues to be conspicuously absent: Frank Shamrock.
Shamrock was the first ever UFC Light Heavyweight Champion (then known as the middleweight championship), and defended the title three times before "retiring" after defeating Ortiz at UFC 22. However, his importance to the UFC at that stage hasn't been recognized by Zuffa, and most notably UFC President Dana White.
The relationship between Shamrock and White has been contentious for some time, and Shamrock's refusal to bend at any point, along with a continued outspokenness against the UFC and White throughout the years has kept him from being recognized by the organization.
Appearing on Thursday's edition of MMA Uncensored Live on Spike TV, Shamrock commented on Ortiz's induction, as well as the fact that he's still not in that field.
"Honestly, I didn't really care, but my wife was pretty pissed that I wasn't in the Hall of Fame," Shamrock said (transcribed by BloodyElbow.com). "I don't care. I think it's awesome that Tito's in. He deserves to be in there. I believe I should be in the Hall of Fame, but it ain't my Hall of Fame. If they wanna put me in, that's great. It's not gonna keep me up at night...
"Here's my thing. I did everything I could for the sport, from speaking to the commissions to presenting in front of cable companies - anything and everything, I was hired to go do it. I was a great spokesman, and I believe in this sport. If they wanna put me in or not, it's totally up to them. I think it's just a big knuckle-fest. God bless Tito, and I'm real proud that he's made it."
While Shamrock would like to get the recognition of the UFC Hall of Fame, he quickly made it clear that his feelings on White haven't changed, and it's a very personal feud between the two of them.
"It's definitely personal between Dana and I," he said. "To further that, I've done everything I can possibly do for this sport. I hope that would include UFC. You know, Dana and I don't get along. I think he's a total douchebag and a bully. I just, I got no breath for him."
Shamrock went even further than that, commenting on getting a chance to meet White in a dark alley.
"As Dana's first martial arts instructor, I understand his skill set and his limitations," Shamrock said, "and I would love to have that moment."
Penick's Analysis: Shamrock likes to believe he has the moral ground on everything, but he often undermines a lot of what he says. Look, there's no good reason for Shamrock's absence from the UFC Hall of Fame. In any MMA Hall of Fame, Shamrock's credentials from the early days of the sport absolutely put him in there. However, his issues with Dana White blind him at times. Calling White a "douchebag and a bully" and then saying he'd "love" to have a moment with him in a back alley is ridiculous. That's a ridiculous mindset that can say "he's a bully/oh, I'd love to beat him up," and it's not the first time he's contradicted his message in that way. Still, to the point at hand, Shamrock should be in the UFC Hall of Fame, and his absence keeps that particular Hall of Fame from being anything other than a promotional tool.
[Dana White art by Travis Beaven (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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