EliteXC, aka Showtime have been pushing the Shamrock versus Gracie match as one of the greatest showdowns this year. Unfortunately it seems that Shamrock had other plans, especially when it turned out his defensive skills were lacking against Gracie’s takedowns.
It might well seem that Shamrock’s break from fighting left him unprepared. Maybe he was still reliving past glories.
Whatever the reason, Shamrock ended up being disqualified and Gracie concussed. After being taken to the ground yet again and working from the bottom, Shamrock pulled Gracie’s head back and launched two knees, connecting first under the right ear and then to the back of the neck at the shoulders. Whether the targeting was intentional or not (and it’s certain that no matter what Shamrock says the actual knees were intentional), he couldn’t have chosen two better places to hit. For those not aware of pressure points, Shamrock landed the knee under the right ear on a prime spot for getting a knockout (or as good as) and causing maximum pain. If you don’t believe me just place your finger just below the ear (about two fingers downs) and dig in whilst pushing up. Now imagine a knee hitting there.
With that in mind let’s look at what he did. He denied being told by the referee that he shouldn’t hit to the back of the head. Gracie contradicted this however, “He started hitting me on the back of the head in the stand up and the ref told him ‘no hitting to the back of the head’ then we hit the ground and he threw two knees. He held my head and setup for the two knees. He felt I was dominating and wanted a way out.
If I had kneed from where I was I could have won the fight in ten seconds. I could throw all the knees I wanted and I didn’t because I obeyed the rules.”
Shamrock put forward a different view, “I have a lot of respect for Renzo, but in my opinion he took the easy way out.” He went on to state, “I’m not a dirty fighter … I was just fighting.” Despite being disqualified for fouling, Shamrock’s ego was in no way deflated, “There’s no way that man can ever beat me.” And by getting disqualified, Shamrock ensured Gracie wouldn’t win.
One knee could be thought of as a mistake, two considered malicious but to move your opponent’s head into place is wildly irresponsible. The second illegal knee made Gracie put both hands to his head in pain, let go of Shamrock and slowly fall backward. Given the standard five minutes he was unable to recover from the illegal strike, and was helped to his corner and later taken to a hospital.
“I didn’t black out at all. I felt dizzy trying to get up so I sat down and my vision was very blurred and I felt nauseous like I was going to puke. When I hit the locker room I puked a lot, I nearly puked on the doctor! They say that I have concussion.”
Both fighters are more than happy to have a rematch with Gracie saying, “I definitely want to fight him again and I hope he’s better prepared as this was a walk in the park. I couldn’t believe how easy it was.”