Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ken Shamrock Can Learn from Shinya Aoki vs. Yuichiro Nagashima 'Special Rules' Fight

Official freak show status at its best!

It looks like the freak show of the year is almost a go. A battle of styles is being planned for MMA legend Ken Shamrock and heavyweight boxing champion James Toney. The two fighters met for a press conference yesterday to promote the event video (below). Venue and dates have yet to be announced.

You may recall James Toney's foray into MMA territory last year when he was submitted in the first round by another MMA legend, Randy Couture. "I'm coming to the MMA field because you all are too scared to come into my field," was James Toney's pre-Couture philosophy. This go 'round the rules will be different. As explained at yesterday's press conference, the Toney-Shamrock bout will consist of eight, three minute rounds. Additionally, they are only allowed to stay on the ground for 30 seconds before they are returned to the neutral position.

The rules modification will definitely make the playing field more even, as it gives James Toney more punching opportunity. While Ken Shamrock promises to stand up and trade with Toney, we can definitely expect him to take any opportunity to get Toney on the floor, but will thirty seconds be enough to finish Toney on the ground? Good question, and it's exactly why Ken Shamrock should worry, at least a little bit, because if James Toney catches even a hint of his chin, it's lights out Mr. Shamrock.

The Japanese are regulars when it comes to special rules and exhibition matches. One fairly big "special rules" bout of recent memory took place at Dream's New Year's event, Dream Dynamite! 2010. Mixed martial artist Shinya Aoki, a BJJ black belt who relies heavily on his submission game, faced K-1 kickboxer Yuichiro Nagashima in a modified rules match. The match between Aoki and Nagashima consisted of only two rounds -- the first being three minutes under K-1 rules, and the second lasting five minutes under MMA rules. Funny enough, Aoki used goofy, almost playful kicks to squeak his way out of the first round with Nagashima. However, with the second round under MMA rules, Nagashima's stand-up game didn't change much. The kickboxer cracked Aoki as he dove in for a takedown.

Moral of the story...
Now, don't get me wrong, a fight between James Toney and Ken Shamrock can be good for the sport, even if it is between two guys who should be greeting shoppers at Walmart. But Ken Shamrock should heed the mistakes of fighters like Shinya Aoki who underestimated the talents of another combat sportsment, and ended up loosing in their own arena as a result. Yeah, James Toney has more than a few lessons of his own to consider about MMA and otherwise, but his hands should still be respected. Under modified rules anything is liable to happen.

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James Foney Toney and Ken Shamrock almost go to blows at the press conference. Toney brags about his non-major boxing title, and requests a meeting in the parking lot. He later has a temper tantrum and gets OG'd by Pops.

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