On February 2nd, this Saturday, Shannon ‘The Cannon’ Ritch will make his BKFC debut at the promotions fourth event, and first international venture, facing off against Mexican native, Omar ‘Rocky’ Molina.
With over 100 professional mixed martial arts fights under his belt, and being 25-3 in bare knuckle boxing, Ritch brings a world of experience to the BKB cage. Ranked third in the world, and 1st in America, ‘The Cannon’ is not only experienced, but one of the best to ever competed in the newly legalized combat sport.
FightBook MMA spoke with Shannon ahead of his PPV bout in Cancun, Mexico this coming weekend. At age 48, and one of the longest combat careers in the history of combat sports, Ritch talks about the ups, the downs, and that this is all about testing his mental and physical abilities inside that cage.
“I took many fights last minute, no training camp and gave up weight – taking last minute fights just to save a show was a bad idea, but I’ve never been the guy to turn down any fight.” Ritch continued, “It’s okay, I’ve always went by anyone, anywhere and Anytime! Never ducked anyone! I keep going because fighting is just testing myself. Man vs man, win or lose it’s always just testing my self”
Having competed for a long time in Mexico, and being ranked among the top, Shannon says Mexico feels like a second home, and will look to defend his legacy there while representing the USA.
“Absolutely, I am the current MF mexico Fighter Champion – Gustavo the promoter has given me many opportunity’s in Mexico, I feel like it is a second home. Yet I am USA born and raised! I have fought for my county in the war in Iraq – I wear red white and blue because these colors don’t run! I am proud to be an American! I’ve been fighting in Mexico since 1991-present, I won’t come there to lose”
It almost feels like Shannon Ritch is fighting every other weekend, which, he just about is. You’ve got to wonder, what’s training like for someone who’s so active?
“I own a gym Cannonbjj.net. I train everyday – you never know when the phone may ring and you find your self in China or Russia standing across the cage from a top contender. You must always be ready, so I don’t take time off, I am always training and always ready.”
With being so competitively active, and with training everyday, Ritch believes that’s the key to prolonging a career.
“I have always stayed active, that is the trick to a long career. Guys that take time off – even retire and try to come back – the sport is changing everyday and if you don’t change with it you get left behind.” In addition, “Your body will tell you when your done and when that time comes you should listen, unlike my friend and a guy I look up too, Chuck Liddell. Should have stayed retired.”
Having a 25-3 BKB record, there’s no questioning Ritch’s abilities when it comes to knuckling up, but he plans on proving a point at BKFC 4.
“Everyone will see that I actually have some hands. Strong punches! People forget I was a kick-boxer long before I was doing MMA. I am a world champion in Bjj, and 3rd degree black belt in Bjj, but I have a strong standup game.”
When asked about his opponent Omar Molina, Shannon is well aware of the task at hand, but still eyeing fight with Bobby Gunn. Hoping with a big win this Saturday, that will be the next fight.
“I know Omar (Malina) and know he is tough boxer, kick boxer from Mexico. I don’t worry about his game plan, I have mine. I only worry about me and what I am going to do. I am getting my hand raised and I hope the promoter Dave Feldman, the Police Gazette and Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame Will finally let me fight who the fans want to see… (Bobby) Gunn vs. (Shannon) Ritch. This fight has to happen. It’s what we want and what the world wants. I hope that is next after Mexico.
2019 is a year of living life to the fullest for ‘The Cannon’, and if he hasn’t already proven himself, he tells us he’s not “even close to being done”.
“I plan to just live life to the fullest (in 2019). I wear many hats, and I am doing many projects. Just keep an eye out for Shannon ‘The Cannon’, because no way I am even close to being done.”