Originally Posted by sugarngold
Of course, I've heard all of this before but in my mind the inclusion of Ken Shamrock in the first UFC throws this out the window. At the time Ken was without a doubt the best shootfighter in the world which combines catch wrestling with muay thai striking. If you look at Ken's fights in Pancrase Pre-UFC 1 - he was throwing people all over the place. At the time he was either already the first King of Pancrase or was one fight away from the actual title fight having already defeated the top competition in Japan. In his fight with Matt Hume - he suplexed him on his head - ala Severn/Macias. Ken jut never had the chance to showcase his throws in the UFC and especially not in UFC 1 because Royce choked his ass out!
Ken Shamrock was a submission wrestler. Ken was not an elite level, Olympic accepted style of, wrestler. I think he wrestled in high school. He certainly wasn't on the level of Servern, Coleman, or Couture. Severn jumped into the UFC on a couple weeks notice, with very little knowledge of submissions, after several DAYS of training against workout partners trying to punch and kick him(with gloves on) as he tried to take them down.
No one watched the first 3 UFCs and thought "Wow, look at this Shamrock guy. He is proving wrestling is for real!!!" Wrestling was looked at differently after UFC IV and V, and it was all due to Freddie Mercury.