Frank Shamrock and Nick Diaz will physically fight on April 11 in Showtime's first Strikeforce event. They've been verbally battling for weeks now.
At Thursday's final press conference hyping the fight, we asked them about the lines they draw when it comes to bad-mouthing the opposition. (On a day when Dana White's quickly-becoming-infamous blog berating a Sherdog reporter blew up, the topic seems doubly relevant.)
It should come as no surprise that Shamrock draws a line quite a bit behind where Diaz is willing to go.
TRASH TALK IS GOOD
Simple logic: when there's pre-fight heat, we're more excited for the fight, right? "I think it's hilarious and wonderful," Shamrock says. "We need people to stir the pot."
BRINGING A GUY'S FAMILY INTO THE BANTER? NOT SO GOOD
Diaz started talking about Shamrock's kids in previous interviews. On Thursday, he back-tracked a little, saying he didn't plan on having kids and seemed unsure of whether he should have mentioned Shamrock's brood.
Not off limits at all, though: the fact that Frank's brother Ken Shamrock recently tested positive for steroids.
"You know Frank's on steroids, just like his brother." (For the record, Diaz says anybody who wants to be on steroids should be allowed. He's also a big supporter of medicinal marijuana.)
Shamrock says he doesn't want to talk about a guy's wife or kids or grandfather, and expects the same in return. "If my mom is sick and dying of cancer, that's not cool," he says.
BUT WHAT IF TRASH TALK IS TRUE?
"I've always prided myself on telling the truth," Shamrock says. But say a guy's wife is 300 pounds, or a guy's trainer is 100 years old?
"Well, my trainer is 100 years old," Shamrock says.
ABSOLUTELY NO ROOM SERVICE
Before a 1998 UFC bout, Shamrock's opponent, John Lober, went way over the trash talk line by taking actual action.
In e-mails, Shamrock says Lober told him in e-mails that he wanted to strangle him "like (a famous nationally-covered murder case)." Then, at the hotel, Lober called Shamrock's room at 3 a.m. to wake up the former UFC champ. But the final blow came when Lober ordered unwanted room service to Shamrock's room.
Shamrock's reaction: He went out that night and pounded on Lober for 7:40 before the ref stopped the fight. To this day, Shamrock says he could have ended it sooner.
"I thought I should punish him for that," he says.