Shannon "The Cannon" Ritch
If you're a MMA Fan and haven't heard the name Shannon "The Cannon" Ritch, you might want to get out of the house more. Recently featured in ESPN The Magazine, and having fought for just about every event in the sport, THE CANNON is a true modern-day gladiator. In a sport where most fighters are part timers who work during the day and train at night, Shannon Ritch has managed to earn a living for nearly two decades as a full-time gladiator. But in true gladiator fashion, he has done it with a sheer force of will, fighting sometimes two or three times in a night, much less a month, and virtually never turning down an opponent regardless of size.
That is one of the reasons he is nearing an “official” fight count of 202 matches. Day in and day out for nearly 24 years “The Cannon” has pulled on the MMA gloves, climbed into cages, rings, and barroom floors in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia and fought a string of opponents that included many with names he couldn’t even pronounce, much less speak to. The question of “how” he does it, however, it is not nearly as important as “why” he does it. Ritch’s fight record paints a picture of a man who literally ducks no one. He’ll take just about any match he’s offered, whether it’s in a village in Brazil, a bullring in Mexico, or a clearing in a Thailand jungle. From the pristine white ring at Pride 11 in Osaka, Japan, where he fought Sakuraba in the main event before thousands of Japanese fans and millions more on television, to the heart of Moscow, where he won a Russian cage fighting belt, “The Cannon” just keeps on firing. He has taken pit fights for cash where the ring was formed by the headlights of parked cars driven by men with gold teeth in their mouth, guns in their waistbands, and cash in their hands. “There was one event,” Ritch recalls, “in a broken down bullring just south of the border.
He had to wait until the chickens fought, then the dogs, and then he got to fight. The safest part of the night was the actual fight, even though you didn’t know if the guy you fought would outweigh you by 40 or 50 pounds. But that was the least of my worries. In a case like that you’re more concerned about whether they’ll shoot you if you win just to avoid paying your salary.” Then amazingly enough, Ritch laughs. “But I had a good time and I got most of my money. So I went back the next weekend and did it again.”
In a sport now filled with prima donnas who’ll refuse to fight if their opponents outweigh them by two or three pounds, Ritch is a promoter’s dream: easy to deal with, not particular about who he fights, unconcerned about his opponent’s record, and willing to take a match on a moment’s notice.
The Cannon is from Coolidge, Arizona where he grew up on a farm, wrestled all through high school and became a professional Kickboxer. Learning Karate as a child, adding wrestling, then BJJ "The Cannon" has used what he knew to become a Professional MMA fighter. since 1991 when he had his 1st professional MMA fight. "The Cannon" has more international MMA fights than any other fighter in the WORLD. He will fight anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Also he is a former U.S. Army soldier. Spending time with the 4th infantry. After he left the military he has been doing private security all over. He spent time in Iraq with one of the biggest private security company's as a bodyguard for the United states ambassador John Negroponte, among other top official’s. The Cannon also now donates his time working with active military with a group called "American 300 Tour" it's like a USO tour but they hit the smaller bases and give soldiers an opportunity to meet one on one. When The Cannon isn't doing that he is teaching CQC / CQB defensive tactics , weapon take ways to military, SWATT, police, FBI, and CIA. He just opened a Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu school in Glendale Arizona.
Professional MMA Fighter 201 MMA Fights.
- 112 wins 87 loss 2 draws.
- Captain Team USA England,
- Captain Team USA Mexico,
- Captain Team USA Burma,
- Captain Team USA Romania.
- 8x world champion.
- MF mexico fighter middleweight world champion.
- IFC Middleweight World Champion.
- KOTC world Champion.
- 2x BADBOY MMA Middleweight world Champion.
- Russia world Champion.
- 3X Pride Veteran 2x K-1 veteran 2001 U.S. Open BJJ CHAMPION.
- 2012/2013 NAGA CHAMPION Black Belt in BJJ.
- 4x Inductee into the Universal Martial Arts Hall Of Fame.
- Home Town Coolidge Arizona..
MOST ACTIVE MMA FIGHTER IN THE WORLD
Q&A Session Between Shannon Ritch and Elite Sports
Question: What inspires you about BJJ? MMA?
Answer: The way it is man vs man- win or loose it is always just a test. Testing your self vs another person.
Question: Who inspires you, past or present? Why do they inspire you?
Answer: Carlos Machado my instructor and mentor, he is the nephew of the man who invented Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Carlos is always there to help - give words of encouragement.
Question: What are your goals for this year? Next 3 years? Next 5 years?
Answer: My goals are to compete in as many bjj matches as I can and as many mma fights as I can travel the world and keep testing myself in and out of the cage.
Question: How long have you been training?
Answer: I have been training since the age of 10 when I started traditional karate, which led to Muay Thai kickboxing which lead to bjj which led to mma. 24 years training !!
Question: How often do you train?
Answer: I train everyday.
Question: Any major accomplishments you’ve been able to achieve in that time?
Answer: I am an 8x mma world champion - I have fought in the biggest mma shows in the world. I have traveled the globe. I am a 3rd degree black belt with several ibjjf wins. 2 x IBJJf national champion , 2 x Nabjjf national champion and several others.
Question: Do you have a go-to finishing move?
Answer: I love leg locks I consider myself one of the masters of the leg locks.
Question: What do you think it takes to be a champion in your sports?
Answer: Dedication , determination and desire and heart you have to have the courage to keep going , win or loose. It's not always about winning it's about the journey.
Question: What sort of gear do you usually keep in your gym bag before hitting the gym? Do you have different items for specific days?