IFL Names Ken Shamrock Coach of Northern Calif. Team
NEW YORK, November 2 – The International Fight League (IFL) today announced that MMA legend Ken Shamrock has been named as coach of the Northern California-based Lions. The addition of the Lions brings to 11 the number of teams for 2007, with one more to be added shortly. The inaugural IFL season will begin in the first quarter of 2007.
"This is a great day for the IFL and for fans of Mixed Martial Arts in general," said IFL co-founder and commissioner Kurt Otto. "We have been able to bring one of the sports greatest personalities and champions in Ken Shamrock to our organization."
"I am very proud to be joining the IFL, and believe fully in the concept as a big part of the future growth of the sport," Shamrock said. "The athletes in this sport are some of the best in the world, and I am looking forward to working with the organization to take MMA to the next level and help create the game’s next stars."
Originally one of the most popular members of the WWE, Shamrock has enjoyed a 13 year career in MMA and wrestling that has made him one of the fight world’s most recognizable personalities. He has been an MMA trailblazer, beginning in 1993 with the launch of Pancrase in Japan, and quickly emerged as one of the sports early stars. He brought that star power back to the United States, joining the original UFC group to participate in the first-ever “Superfight” (with Royce Gracie in 1993), and went on to become a star of the highly-acclaimed series “The Ultimate Fighter” on Spike TV. He also began his highly successful coaching and training career, founding the Lion's Den, a group dedicated to the training of mixed martial arts fighters. Shamrock returned to professional wrestling during it’s late 1990s success as well, competing in some of the biggest WWE cards ever before returning to MMA again in 2000. He competed first in PRIDE before retuning to the UFC in November of 2002.
In late November of 2005, he was selected by the UFC as a coach for the third season of The Ultimate Fighter and has enjoyed great success as an author, competitor and coach over the last nine years. He was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2004.