Shelton Benjamin recalls almost being Ken Shamrock’s sparring partner ahead of UFC 5 fight

Photo Courtesy: WWE

Benjamin was asked if he would’ve considered venturing into MMA. 

Prior to getting into pro wrestling, Shelton Benjamin was a Division I All-American amateur wrestler for the University of Minnesota. 

As Benjamin was doing a virtual signing for K & S WrestleFest, he was asked if there was ever a point when he considered getting into MMA. He went on to tell the story of when UFC approached him about sparring with Ken Shamrock to help him prep for his UFC 5 bout against Royce Gracie. 

The plan was to further sharpen Shamrock’s wrestling ability. Benjamin turned the opportunity down when he quickly realized MMA was not for him. 

No (I didn’t think about going to UFC) — well, years ago when I was in college and I don’t even think (Ken) Shamrock knows this but they were trying to get me to go in and be his sparring partner. I was a freshman and this was before the UFC is what it is now. They wanted me to be his sparring partner and I actually spoke with his wife on the phone and they wanted me to come down and train with him because he needed someone who knew wrestling because he was preparing for a match with (Royce) Gracie, and yeah, I took one look at it and I was, ‘Hmm, I don’t think this is for me.’ So, no. I wanted to be a pro wrestler. It was pro football or pro wrestling, or amateur wrestling but, I’m not a UFC fighter. It takes a certain mentality to do that and I don’t think I had it. Not to say I couldn’t have gotten it but… It takes a certain type of person to be happy to take a punch, and I can hold my own for a living but nah, it just didn’t interest me.

Benjamin’s most recent run with WWE came to in end in the fall of 2023. He expressed his thought that he should still be with the company and to read more, head over to this link

If the quote in this article is used, please credit K & S WrestleFest with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcription.

About Andrew Thompson 8757 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.