By Jillian Bullock
When John Quinlan, Bodybuilder, Wrestler, and Sports Model, decided to train for the NPC Jay Cutler Classic, where he will compete in the Men’s Physique Class on May 6, he wanted to get a tattoo that represented his Irish heritage. Already sporting a mix of thirteen Oriental and Irish tribal themed tattoos, Quinlan wanted to make a bold statement with his 14th and final tattoo. He sought out something that would be different, something special, to showcase to the world while he conducted his bodybuilding routine on stage at John Hancock Hall in Boston, MA. Quinlan choose a shamrock that had a tribal look to go on his right hand.
In doing research, however, he was surprised to find out that the tattoo he wanted was already taken – it was the official logo of former UFC champion Frank Shamrock’s company Shamrock Martial Arts. Quinlan had always been a fan of Shamrock and other MMA fighters because of their heart and dedication to their sport.
“Out of respect for Frank I contacted him for his permission to allow me to use this shamrock design,” Quinlan stated. After reaching out to the former champ, a friendship formed between the two men. Although Quinlan is a bodybuilder and Shamrock is a MMA fighter, and both athletes are in two totally different type of sports, they are used to competing as warriors. This means they have the same mindset when it comes to preparing for an upcoming match or contest.
Shamrock Still Influential In MMA
When Shamrock retired in 2010, he was the four-time defending undefeated UFC Middleweight Champion. Since leaving the octagon, Shamrock has focused on the Shamrock Martial Arts Academy, in San Jose, where he and his staff trains students in submission fighting and MMA. Along with running his school, Shamrock is involved in several other business ventures, including Frank Shamrock, Inc., a personal asset management company and Mixed Martial Arts for Law Enforcement, a law enforcement training business. Shamrock also has his hands in authoring books (Mixed Martial Arts For Dummies and Frank Shamrock’s Ultimate Fighting Method), instructional DVDs, and even acting in TV and action and martial arts movies. But what is most important to Shamrock is his philanthropist and social activist work. He is heavily involved in raising funds for several cancer organizations and speaking at youth groups.
As someone who had a rough upbringing, where he was in a boy’s group home until Bob Shamrock adopted him, Shamrock understands the importance of mentoring kids, especially boys, so they can grow up to be productive people in society.
Considering Shamrock is a MMA legend and with all that he has going on in his busy schedule, Quinlan was surprised Shamrock took the time to respond to his request.
“When I explained to Frank why the tattoo was so important to me he said he would be honored and to send him a photo of the tattoo when it was finished, which I did,” Quinlan said.
As a sports model, Quinlan has done many photo shoots in boxing and MMA gear, which means he has also been around many professional athletes. Unlike some other boxers or MMA fighters he has worked with, Quinlan found Shamrock to be a generous and humble guy.
Inspiration To Excel
Whether MMA fighters or bodybuilders, Quinlan believes all athletes draw their inspiration from different sources and one person displaying generosity and kindness can affect a person’s life forever.
“This is an important event for my career,” Quinlan noted. “I’d like to thank Frank for supporting me and my efforts as a professional athlete.“ With his connection to Shamrock in the form of the shamrock tattoo, Quinlan believes it will bring him luck when as he competes in the upcoming Jay Cutler Classic. For more information on John Quinlan, go to www.johnquinlan.org.
You can also follow The MMA Zone on Twitter here.