Ken Shamrock Says UFC 'Misused' Brock Lesnar, Forebodes Downfall of Chael Sonnen

Jordy McElroyCorrespondent IMay 21, 2013

If the UFC gave him ample time to grow, Brock Lesnar could have been the best fighter in MMA history, according to Ken Shamrock.

In an exclusive two-part interview with Sportnet's Joe Ferraro, the MMA legend claimed the UFC missed out on a golden opportunity by throwing Lesnar to the wolves too soon:

I think Brock mentally got beat, but I always thought that they didn't treat Brock right either. I thought they threw him in too soon. He's fighting guys that had 20 fights in his second fight because he's so massive and so impressive. It wasn't fair to him. If he would have got groomed properly, he could've been the best fight in any weight class, best pound-for-pound ever.

Upon entry into the UFC, Lesnar made it clear that he didn't want any easy fights.

The UFC obliged his request by matching him up against former heavyweight champ Frank Mir. After an impressive start, Lesnar's inexperience caught up with him in the end, as Mir latched on a kneebar for the first-round submission finish.

Lesnar would eventually bounce back and capture the UFC heavyweight title from Randy Couture along with avenging his loss to Mir. After losing to Alistair Overeem in December 2011, he officially announced his retirement from MMA with a 5-3 professional record.

Many believe his decision to hang up the gloves was based primarily on his constant battle with diverticulitis, an intestinal disorder. Shamrock, on the other hand, thinks there were other contributing factors that lead to Lesnar's early exit:

I'm not sure that [the diverticulitis] is everything. I know that's a big part of it, but what if he was training properly? Would that have even been a factor? I don't even know. I'm just saying this guy had an opportunity to be great, and I just saw him mentally get dwindled down because he was thrown right into that.

There's no use crying over spilt milk, especially now that the UFC has seen the emergence of pay-per-view juggernaut Chael Sonnen.

The Oregon native's persistent trash talking is often frowned upon by his peers, but he has certainly earned a warm spot in the heart of UFC President Dana White. Since nearly upsetting Anderson Silva at UFC 117, Sonnen has quickly grown into one of the UFC's biggest stars.

His ability to play off the media and hype fights is unrivaled in MMA. It isn't just about the trash talking. Sonnen is a perennial middleweight contender who has challenged Silva twice for the UFC title. Their blockbuster rematch at UFC 148 is widely considered as the biggest event in UFC history.

He also received an opportunity to compete against Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title at UFC 159.

For Shamrock, it's all about respect, and he believes Sonnen's style of trash talking is a major turnoff. He has no problem with Sonnen throwing verbal jabs at opponents. The problem lies in the talk being aimed at random individuals:

I don't think [Chael Sonnen] even realizes that the minute his market goes away, he's done. ... He just mouths off at things that don't matter. Mouth on to something that's going to make you money, not something that's not going to make you money.

Right now it's working for him, but when it's over, it's like a Mike Tyson syndrome. When it's over, they're gonna step on your head, the same people you're talking trash about are the same ones you're gonna meet on the way down, and they're gonna help you down faster.

With all of the people Sonnen has upset in his MMA career, there should be quite a line awaiting his arrival at the pearly gates.