EliteXC Heat on October 4 will be the venue for both Ken Shamrock and Kevin ‘Kimbo Slice’ Ferguson to prove something. Shamrock’s goal is to shut up his critics who are suggesting retirement for him. To Ferguson, it is to validate his position in mainstream MMA.

Indeed, big stakes are in for both mixed martial artists. During an intense teleconference on Thursday, Shamrock was quite vocal about his feeling towards the fight and the fighter he’s pitted against. It was clear to Shamrock that he would be a pawn to the promotion’s big event, which is to take place at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise in Florida. Shamrock did not mince words expressing his views about the whole thing.

“That is absolutely what this is,” Shamrock said. “I’m absolutely taking it as an insult, and I’m going to smash it back in their face.”

Indeed, Shamrock (26-13-2) will have to deliver a smashing performance; otherwise, the public outcry for his retirement will grow louder. Shamrock’s age and record are working against him. He is 44 years old, well past the prime of any fighter. He suffered defeats in eight of his 10 last matches. Shamrock is now on a five-fight losing streak and it was apparent he did not put up a good fight in those losses – he has not survived the first round in any of his last five matches. That’s a great disappointment from a man who’s been nicknamed as “The World’s Most Dangerous Man.”

“All I’ve got to say is that I apologize for my last couple of performances,” Shamrock said. “I have no excuses. On Oct. 4, I will shut everybody up and make amends for those [losses] by putting Kimbo’s lights out.”

Ferguson (3-0), then, became at the receiving end of Shamrock’s fierce words. “After it’s over,” Shamrock said, “I’m going to shave your goatee.”

Ferguson, meanwhile, resisted to take the verbal bait and shrugged off Shamrock’s comments. “I’m not a s–t talker,” he said.

Ferguson was very much aware that he would not prove anything by talking – after all, he is not only at the receiving end of Shamrock’s nasty remarks but also of the persistent speculation that he has yet to find his footing in mainstream MMA. Ferguson gained popularity via the Internet, appearing in several filmed underground streefights before his introduction to commercialized MMA.

His performance at his last bout earned criticisms. Although he was able to defeat Pride Fighting Championships veteran James Thompson, many said Ferguson was ‘out of sorts’ when his opponent pushed the action to the ground. Ferguson considered that bout, as well as the nasty post-fight reviews, as worthwhile lessons.

“Every fight makes me a more complete fighter,” Ferguson said. “I’m prepared for a lot of s–t. Losing’s not an option, but if it happens, I’ll learn from it and come back from it. Ken’s really going to have to be Superman to beat me.”

Yet, the 34-year-old fighter from Florida was not underestimating Shamrock’s fighting skills.

“I grew up watching Ken,” Ferguson said. “I’m honored to fight a guy like him. If I beat Ken’s ass, I’m good. This guy has the ability to f–k somebody up. I’m not taking this s–t lightly. I want a guy who’s going to try and kick my ass, try to knock me out, try to break my leg. He still has the ability to pull something off. I don’t underestimate anybody.”

Shamrock, on the other hand, showed no respect for Ferguson’s abilities.

“I don’t respect his power,” Shamrock said. “The only time he’s knocked anyone out is when they were tired. At this point, I have no respect for him at all. I’m going in there to whip his ass.”

And, seasoned fighter as he is, Shamrock openly acknowledged what his triumph over Ferguson could mean to him.

“It’s a huge thing for me and my career,” he said. “I can taste this one. I want this bad. He’s a fast-rising star, and this is an opportunity for me to get in the ring and revive my career.”

And to those people who want to see him retired in some obscure Mexican town, Shamrock has some parting words for them.

“People are asking the question, ‘Should I be in the ring?’” Shamrock said. “I guarantee I’m going to answer the question and put a period at the end of it.”

Remember, Ken Shamrock is a walking and talking example of steroid abuse and HGH abuse.  He was so pumped up on anabolic steroids that he couldn’t move properly.