He's an Ultimate Fighting Championship hall-of-famer - one of the original mixed martial arts fighters from back when the catchphrase used to market the sport was "no rules - ever", but Ken Shamrock just can't seem to get his head around the concept of retirement. So much so that it's being suggested he may fight former WWE pro wrestler Bobby Lashley in Japan to avoid serving a one year steroid suspension.
Officials from the California State Athletic Commission announced Wednesday that Shamrock had tested positive to three illegal steroids after his previous fight and would be fined $2500 and serve a one-year suspension from the sport.
Because each U.S. state athletic commission upholds the suspensions of other commissions, that will prevent Shamrokc from fighting anywhere in North America, but Japanese regulators have no rules against steroid use, making the nation a sometime destination for fighters not wishing to serve their time.
Shamrock's scheduled opponent for his next fight in Florida on March 21 was Bobby Lashley, but the former pro wrestler will now fight heavyweight Jason Guida, brother of UFC standout lightweight Clay Guida, in a contest many in the business feel will be a tougher assignment than the aging Shamrock.
That doesn't worry Lashley, who told reporter Michael David Smith of MMA Fanhouse
Friday that he's not against traveling to Japan to make the Shamrock fight happen, ban be damned.
"If Ken ever wants to fight with me, if he wants to go to Japan and do that fight, I wouldn't mind doing that also," said Lashley. "I know it's kind of a touchy subject, but to do one fight in Japan, I don't mind doing it. I think it's a great fight. I think he's a great fighter. And I know that the guy wasn't maliciously trying to go out there to try go gain an advantage over anybody."
Lashley then backtracked a little, claiming he would only push ahead with the Japan plan if he could do so without U.S. athletic commissions taking umbrage at it.
"I wouldn't do anything against the commissions' wishes. I wouldn't do that at all," said Lashley.
Shamrock was unavailable for comment, but his representatives continue to insist they will appeal his suspension.