From time to time, allegations of fight fixing have reared their ugly head in mixed martial arts (MMA) over the years, but in the vast majority of occasions, it’s been little more than wishful thinking.
After all, you only need to look at the medical suspension lists after any major event to see that the only fixes going on are to the broken bones and other assorted ailments that are part of a full-contact sport that lives up to the mantra of being ‘As Real As It Gets’.
That being said, particularly in the early years of the sport, and more often than not in Japan, there have been serious allegations of fight fixing that go beyond the realms of just baseless speculation.
In this article we’ll home in on 10 instances of such scandals, seeking to avoid guesswork where possible by focusing on firsthand accounts of shameful behind-the-scenes corruption that led to the line between reality and fiction becoming distorted and threatened to tarnish the sport’s credbility.
Ken Shamrock vs. Minoru Suzuki II
In 1995, Ken Shamrock was the ‘King Of Pancrase’ titleholder, but was also about to fight Dan Severn for the UFC 6 superfight championship title.
Rumors suggest that Pancrase’s head honcho’s were concerned that it would reflect badly on their promotion if he lost in the Octagon while still being their champion as so asked him to throw his next fight with Pancrase co-owner Minoru Suzuki.
In the fight at Pancrase: Eye Of The beast 4, Suzuki miraculously escapes a fully extended armbar, gets on top and then submits Shamrock soon after with a kneebar just 2:14 minutes into the fight.
There’s no official proof that the fight was fixed, but when asked point-blank to confirm long-standing rumors that it was a fix during an interview by ugo.com, Shamrock’s non-answer told fans all they needed to know.
”I can’t really talk about those things because of agreements and things that were set down by the organization,” Shamrock stated.