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Ken Shamrock ranks McGregor as the UFC's best but fears success could 'go to his head'

“I just hope he’s got good people around him.”

ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP legend Ken Shamrock believes Conor McGregor is currently the organisation’s pound-for-pound best fighter.

unnamed (2) UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor. Source: Getty Images/Steve Marcus/INPHO

However, Shamrock says the reigning featherweight champion needs to tread carefully to ensure that his phenomenal success doesn’t have a detrimental impact on his mindset.

McGregor confirmed his status as the biggest star in mixed martial arts earlier this month when he took just 13 seconds to dethrone long-time 145lbs title-holder Jose Aldo via KO at UFC 194 in Las Vegas.

Shamrock fought on the UFC’s inaugural event back in 1993 and, prior to the introduction of weight classes, he became the organisation’s first ever ‘Superfight’ champion.

When asked for his thoughts on who is currently MMA’s pound-for-pound best fighter, Shamrock told Fight Hub TV: “Without a doubt, Conor McGregor. His knockout over Aldo, for me, clinched it. Crazy. Aldo, that guy is great. To see what he did there, to me, hands down.”

Having risen from humble beginnings at Dublin’s Straight Blast Gym and under the stewardship of an astute coach like John Kavanagh, McGregor has been guided wisely to the top with the help of his team at SBG. But Shamrock issued a few words of warning based on his own experiences nevertheless.

He said: “When that happens, you fear for the fighter — Conor — that it doesn’t go to his head. You fear that because there’s so many people in his head right now, telling him how great he is that you believe it. You believe you’re the greatest thing in the world and you think no rules apply to you.

“Trust me: I’m saying it because I went through it. I was in that moment and it’s really a hard drug to get away from. I just hope there’s the right people around him and in his corner that are telling him to be level-headed, understand the realm of what it is you’re doing and what it means in the world.”

Source: fighthub/YouTube

Believe it or not, 51-year-old Shamrock is still fighting. In spite of a first-round KO defeat to Kimbo Slice in June, he’ll renew his rivalry with Royce Gracie at Bellator 149 on 19 February.

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Paul Dollery

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