Rutten found a measure of redemption after the upset loss by choking out expert grappler and King of Pancrase Tournament Finalist Manabu Yamada in his next fight, on January 26, 1995. Rutten was taken to the ground, but he clamped an arm triangle choke from half guard and exerted such a pressure that Yamada, refusing to tap out, was choked out and remained unconscious with his eyes wide open after the hold. Thanks to this performance against the tournament finalist, Rutten received a rematch and a title shot against tournament winner and then current King of Pancrase Ken Shamrock for the King of Pancrase title on March 10. The match was very anticipated, but it ended early when Shamrock executed a kneebar and forced Rutten to submit. According to the Dutch, the loss was due to his training partner Funaki teaching him the wrong way to escape a kneebar, which made Rutten spin in the opposite direction giving a tighter hold for Shamrock.  After this failure, Rutten focused on grappling even harder and started training 2 to 3 times a day solely on submissions.