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Frank Shamrock Talks About Decision to Retire, Thoughts on UFC

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From a conversation with Ben Fowlkes at 

You called it quits this weekend, but why now? Your fight with Nick Diaz was over a year ago, so it seems like it wasn't that loss that made you decide. What was it?

Frank Shamrock: It was just my body and the time. I put the machine back in the shop and ramped it up and it just didn't perform. The last time in my fight with Nick - it used to be that it didn't matter how hurt I was going into a fight, I always performed. When I fought Nick I didn't perform. I had injuries that wouldn't allow me to play my game and to entertain. So I knew when I tried to put my body to work again, it's done. The machine's down. I just can't race it any more.

When did you realize that your body wasn't responding the way it needed to any more?

I got hurt pretty good a couple weeks into training for the Nick fight. It was a very odd injury in my abdominal region that felt like muscle tearing and just weirdness, and it was because my cervical vertebrae were compressed. That compression caused tension and the tension cause my muscles to kind of tear out. It's just, my whole body kind of reached a point last year, or maybe the tail end of the year before, where it was just like, hey, we're kind of done. I don't know quite how to explain it.

That's a pretty uncommon thing for pro fighters to be able to come to that conclusion so easily. You seem very at peace with it.

Well, I don't think I was ever a fighter. I think I was an athlete and a martial artist, and I just happened to be fighting. My art will always continue on, but as an athlete, the machine is done. I can't keep tying the two together. To me, it makes no sense to go on. I can't be my best, so I'm doing a disservice to my art. That's against what I believe in.

Shamrock also talked about leaving the UFC and why he went to Scott Coker's (then) little-known Strikeforce promotion:

You mentioned that you left the UFC in part because you didn't believe in what they were doing. What does that mean?

I think they put on a good sports entertainment product. I don't believe they're on a martial arts journey. That's my own personal opinion. But I saw their stuff and I was like, guys, I don't believe in this.

Do you think Strikeforce is on a martial arts journey?

100%. Scott Coker's a martial artist. He's an honest guy. If you ask him to do something he'll do it, or else he'll tell you why he can't do it. That's what fighters need. Fighters need someone they can trust. We can't trust anybody.

Is that something you can bring to the management side of things, since fighters know you've been in their shoes before?

I think so. I also think the fighters need to step up. You know, these guys show up thirty minutes late for media, and we're paying thousands of dollars to have all these people there. They need to understand that we're all in this together. We're not fighting each other; we're helping each other. Scott and I figured that out from the beginning.