As of Monday, Frank Shamrock’s memoir Uncaged: My Life as a Champion MMA Fighter is available wherever books are sold. If you’re wondering whether it is insane, consider this quote from the author’s interview with Mike Chiappetta at MMAFighting:
“I used to live on the streets. I ended up in a prison. I’ve had the worst life you could ever imagine, and now I’m living the best life you could ever imagine. I mean, I rarely leave my house unless a limo pulls up. The world I live in is vastly different than what other people are living in. It’s a dream.”
First of all, if you ever go to prison, be sure to refer to it as “a prison.” It implies they locked you in a vault to keep you from knocking out Tito Ortiz or whatever. Second, Shamrock is not exaggerating about the wild swings that defined his life. He grew up in a series of institutions and foster homes, one of which just happened to also make a professional fighter of his not-biologically-related brother, Ken. He got braces at age 37. And he developed a serious drinking problem after Zuffa bought Strikeforce:
“I think it’s because I fought so hard, and we had fought so hard against the unbeatable adversary, the UFC. I had so much personally invested in the vision or the dream or the chance of Strikeforce. It was my whole life. I didn’t have another life. That’s all that I did.”
Shamrock has been a vocal critic of Zuffa’s management of Strikeforce, accusing them of dismantling the brand he helped create. “Strikeforce is alive. It has a great soul but they’ve been picking the soul out of it and taking the talent out if it, and now it’s a shell,” he told Chiappetta. Such comments are not likely to endear him to the UFC brass, with whom he already has a strained relationship.
The future of the first UFC light-heavyweight champion is uncertain, but with Uncaged, he has at least set down a version of his past. Longtime MMA fans will appreciate this retelling of a life that sometimes bordered on the absurd, and new fans will enjoy the introduction to an early legend of the sport. Plus, the foreword is by Mickey Rourke, and I’m sure that’s not crazy at all.