Shem Rock competes for Nigella Lawson cookbook in Liverpool MMA quiz ahead of Oktagon 56

In possibly the most daunting challenge of his life, Shem Rock took on the ultimate Liverpool MMA quiz with Nigella Lawson’s bestseller, ‘A Celebration of Home Cooking’, on the line.

On April 20, the Scouser will compete at Oktagon MMA 56 at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham against Stefano Catacoli. But before his eagerly-anticipated return to action, the popular fighter put it all on the line to secure a book that will undoubtedly enhance his cooking skills.

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Shem Rock competes for Nigella Lawson cookbook

While MMA fans know the talented grappler for dismantling his opponents in the cage, what they might not be aware of, is that the 30-year-old is a dab hand in the kitchen. That’s right; when he’s not rendering other men unconscious, the Liverpudlian is creating content for his ‘Shem Rock Scrans’ Instagram page, where he crafts meals that look just as exquisite as the performances he produces on fight night.

Therefore, when I pitched the idea of a quiz with Nigella’s words of wisdom at stake, Rock jumped at the chance. Utilising his knowledge of his home city, the athlete began his quest to score five or more in a series of ten Liverpool questions and got off to a flying start, quickly answering that Darren Till knocked Donald Cerrone unconscious in Gdansk, Poland.

However, after hitting the ground running, Rock fell at the next hurdle. While the clip of Jamie Carragher mocking Kate Abdo’s boyfriend and Deontay Wilder’s trainer, Malik Scott, went viral, the sportsman had failed to see the controversial video, shouting ‘Kate Abdo, who the f**k is that’?

To make matters worse, Rock forgot that his fellow Scouser, Mick Stanton, will join him on the Oktagon 56 card. Rolling back the years, I then asked the Next Gen star to name the famous Brookside actor who came second on X Factor and won two series of Dancing on Ice. Alas, Rock was unable to identify the legendary Ray Quinn, but that didn’t stop him from giving the swing star a shout-out.

Spiralling out of control, the warrior didn’t know that Liverpool broadcaster, Nick Peet, refers to himself as ‘The Talent’. At this point, the room grew worried, knowing that Rock’s chances of claiming Nigella Lawson’s A Celebration of Home Cooking were hanging by a thread.

Shem Rock fights with everything he has to win Nigella Lawson cookbook

While some may have doubted him, as he has throughout his career, Rock remained composed, knowing he had the minerals to make one of the greatest comebacks of all time. While he branded Liverpool’s mascot, The Mighty Red, as ‘The giant bird’, I decided to give him the point because his thinking was clearly along the right lines.

With this swing in momentum, Paddy Pimblett’s teammate pulled a home run out of the locker by confirming that Dean Garnett is the reigning Hexagone MMA featherweight champion. Alas, X Factor star, Christopher Maloney, who came third under the mentorship of Gary Barlow, landed a metaphorical right hand, which sent Rock crashing back towards the canvas.

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However, showcasing monumental grit and determination, the Scouser rose to his feet, knowing nothing other than two consecutive correct answers would be enough to win the book he so desperately craved.

With a spring in his step, a defiant Rock exclaimed that Jake McHugh would love to have a fight with an Ewok from Star Wars because ‘They’re about the same height’. So, as ‘The Dark Destroyer’ on The Chase would say, It’s all came down to a ‘one-question shootout’. If Rock managed to get the last answer correct, he’d walk away with all of Nigella’s cooking secrets, but should he fail, he’d have to resign himself to picking up a Jamie Oliver book from the local Tesco. So, it goes without saying that you could cut the tension with a knife.

I asked Shem to name a fighter who’d fled the UK after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit, mastered martial arts in Malaysia, won two championship belts, goes above and beyond to help kids stay on the right path in his local community, and will look to land a huge knockout win at Oktagon 56 in Birmingham. Of course, Rock knew the answer was himself.

Shem Rock picks his favourite recipe in Nigella Lawson cookbook

With a huge smile across his face, Rock beamed: “Give me my book, lad.” Now, the only thing left to do was for the sportsman to pick out a recipe. With meat, alcohol and desserts out of the window, he landed on turmeric rice with some fish thrown on top.

Having watched Rock dismantle his adversaries under the lights, it’s clear his performances are fuelled on the highest-quality food. Therefore, it seemed a fantastic opportunity to ask whether he’d cook me a dish. Sadly, he answered, ‘Will I f**k’.

You can buy tickets to watch Oktagon 56, here.


Featured Image Credit: Getty / Oktagon MMA