The Lions Den and the team was founded in the early 1990s by UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock, and featured such fighters as Mikey Burnett, Vernon White, Jerry Bohlander, Tra Telligman, Pete Williams and Guy Mezger.
The team was founded out of necessity, as the then-new sport of mixed martial arts began to take off in the early 1990s. Shamrock, who had fought at UFC 1, had trouble finding adequate sparring partners to prepare for fights. Shamrock attracted the attention of American Pancrase fighters Vernon White and Guy Mezger early on, and formed the first ever MMA team.
Fighters will apply to try out and The Lion’s Den only allows serious competitors with considerable skill to try out. Historically, The Lion’s Den is known for its brutal try-outs because once accepted into the Den, the members would live in Ken’s home having their dinner provided by Shamrock. Ken needed to make sure only the best got through.
See the try-outs workout routine on Ken Shamrock’s website: https://kenshamrock.com/lions-den/
Video Credit: UFC 25 YEARS IN SHORT DOCU-SERIES (Episode #2) – THE LION’S DEN: The Story of the First Mixed Martial Arts Team In 1994, Ken Shamrock assembled the first ever MMA team, the Lion’s Den, and showed that success in the ultimate individual sport was a team effort.
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