At 44 years old, Ken Shamrock is still going. Still fighting. Still competitive. Still looking to add to his already lengthy mixed martial arts career.
At 26-13-2, he's only earned two victories this decade (the last of which was against KimoLeopoldo in June 2004). But at EliteXC: Heat inSunrise, Fla., on Saturday night, he faces a relative newcomer in the game: Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson -- a younger (33) and heavier (reports have him at a good 20 pounds more than Shamrock) fighter, who has become the poster boy for EliteXC.
While preparing for his upcoming bout, "The World's Most Dangerous Man" took some time to speak with SI.com.
Nicki Jhabvala: What are your thoughts on your upcoming fight with Kimbo Slice?
Ken Shamrock: I'm very happy to be able to walk into the ring, and I'm very confident. I'm looking for a victory and I'm very confident that I'm going to get a win.
Jhabvala: Have you done anything differently to prepare for this fight?
Shamrock: I think that the biggest difference is that I'm going to this fight healthy. I don't have any injuries, and that is the biggest difference of any of the other fights I've had in the last three or four years.
Jhabvala: What do you think will be key in stopping him?
Shamrock: I think it's pressure, just being in his face, being able to land some strikes in the stand-up and being able to get him to the ground. But I have to be focused on more of the stand-up in order for that to happen.
Jhabvala: Do you feel Kimbo holds any advantages over you?
Shamrock: No. I think the only advantage he has over me is weight. That's it. I thought if he was a better grappler, [his size] would become more of an issue because I'd have to worry about him getting on top of me and being able to move around. But because he's not a good grappler, because he's not good on the ground, I don't have to worry about that.
Jhabvala: In your mind, how will this fight rank among others in your career?
Shamrock: It's got to be one of the top ones just because it's now. After the fight is over, and maybe after my career is over, I can reflect back on this. But right now, because I'm still fighting, this fight's the most important because I'm fighting it.
Jhabvala: When EliteXC asked you to fight Kimbo, were you ever hesitant is agreeing to it?
Shamrock: Absolutely not. In fact, when it was brought to my attention, I told my agent and my partners that I could not let this one go. 'Make this work. Make this happen.' I wanted it because of the opportunity to be a part of history, to be able to break the TV ratings [record] in which I currently hold in one of the top TV shows right now. And I have the opportunity to that now with Kimbo. It's just an opportunity for me to be able to get out there again and make history.
Jhabvala: There's been a lot of trash talking between you and Kimbo leading up to this fight. Was there someone or something that instigated it all?
Shamrock: It's just me, it's just who I am and what I do. I tend to find in my opponent something I want to pick on that makes me angry. It could be just by way of action, by the way he looks at me, that makes me angry, and I'll grow on that and think on it because I enjoy having something to be angry towards my opponent. I like coming out with my aggression. It feels good to be able to do that. That's just who I am and how I get prepared for a fight.
Jhabvala: Do you plan to keep fighting after Saturday?
Shamrock: Everything I've been working up towards is Saturday. I haven't even thought past Saturday.
Jhabvala: How do you see the fight playing out?
Shamrock: This one here can end either way: I can either knock him out, or ground-and-pound him and put him into the mat. Or I can submit him. I'm not going to force anything. I'm going to go out there and I'm going to take what's there. If I'm hitting him and nailing him pretty good, and he's worried too much about the takedown, I'll knock him out. If he comes forward and tries to strike a little bit and gets aggressive, then I'll take him down. It all depends on what he does when the bell rings.