A fighter was on the run for 10 years because of a crime he did not commit: “It shaped me, but the system did injustice”

A fighter was on the run for 10 years because of a crime he did not commit: “It shaped me, but the system did injustice”

MMA star Shem Rock spent a decade on the run for a crime he didn’t commit, but is now fighting for one of Europe’s top promotions.

Rock (8-1-1) spent most of his teenage years working for the wrong company, which eventually led to his arrest in connection with a burglary. From the beginning he claimed he was innocent and when his bail was paid he was released. He soon received a call from his lawyer asking him to return to custody because he had been accidentally released. He then decided to flee England and travel to Asia.

Rock spent his first year on the run in Thailand and his life changed drastically when he traveled to Singapore to extend his visa.

“I walked past a big building and all the people there were rolling around on the mats. I watched them for 45 minutes. When I came back to Malaysia five or six months later, I saw a sign for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and me. “I realized I saw that in Singapore,” Rock told Mirror Fighting.

The problematic side came to the fore right from the start when, in his first training session, he hit the coach in the head while trying to avoid “submission”.

“He just screwed me over, the first thing he did was a triangle choke. I picked it up and slammed it shut, it was the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life. After that he made me knock about 60 times. “I remember going home and sitting there for two hours thinking, ‘Was that Java?’ I went straight back that evening for evening training and went every day for three weeks after that,” he added.

He eventually managed to amass an MMA record of 6-1 before being sent to prison upon returning to England and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

After six months in prison, he was declared innocent in a trial that lasted just 20 minutes. Rock admitted in the interview that he still holds a grudge against the justice system because of everything he’s been through.

“It has shaped me and I am grateful for the path I have taken, but the system has done so much injustice that no young teenager deserves it,” Rock concluded.

The fighter is back in action tonight and Stefan Catacoli is waiting for him in the cage at the Octagon 56 event in Birmingham. The Englishman was due to face Jaroslav Pokorny in his third appearance for the promotion last November, but the bout was canceled due to an injury Pokorny sustained in a brawl with Rock at the weigh-in.


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