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 often. Recently featured in ESPN The Magazine, and HBO documentary being filmed now also 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 220 professional fights. Day in and day out for nearly 27 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 90,000 thousand 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. I had to wait until the chickens fought, then the dogs, and then I 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. At age 48 he will be one of the oldest active professional MMA fighters when he fights his next fight, October 5th for Diamond World Fights Heavyweight World Title.
He is also 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 also owns a Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu school in Glendale Arizona, training tomorrow’s champions today. Cannonbjj.net