From the EliteXC and Strikeforce’s co-promoted extravaganza in March, here’s Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le for the Strikeforce Middleweight Title, recorded with Showtime’s patented “Cage Cam”. Enjoy the three-round war.
Kimbo Slice. Photo by Esther Lin/EliteXC.
EliteXC heavyweight sensation Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson will serve as one of the presenters at Sunday night’s Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas according to Josh Gross of Sports Illustrated. The event will air on CBS from 8-11 PM ET. Slice’s appearance will likely have him make some kind of mention of EliteXC’s debut on the network next Saturday night.
Report: Moreno to Face Haselrig at EliteXC on CBS
New Jersey-based heavyweight Carlos Moreno will step in to face former NFL All-Pro offensive lineman and NCAA wrestling champion Carlton Haselrig at Elite Xtreme Combat’s upcoming “Primetime” event on May 31st according to Sherdog.com.
Moreno has won two out of his last three fights. He most recently fell to Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Kevin Jordan at a Battle Cage Xtreme event last October. Haselrig was originally slated to take on Fightfest veteran Joe McCall, who will be unable to compete at the event due to family obligations.
Kelly Perdew Resigns as CEO of ProElite.com
EliteXC parent company ProElite announced today that Kelly Perdew, the winner of the second season of NBC’s “The Apprentice”, has resigned as President and CEO of the organization’s official website through the company’s SEC filing.
Perdew filed his resignation on May 9th and it will go into effect next week. According to MMA Junkie, Perdew will now move on to rotohog.com to serve as the fantasy sports company’s CEO. A successor for Perdew has not yet been named.
Donruss to Create Cung Le Trading Card
Popular trading card company Donruss has announced it’s intention to create a trading card featuring the likeness of newly crowned Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le, who defeated former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock in March to claim the title.
“We’re excited to be able to include Cung in our program,” said Scott Prusha, Marketing Director for Donruss, said in a press release sent out to the media today. “Cung is an extremely exciting fighter and winning the Strikeforce championship was really a big thing.”
Photo by Jon Swenson.
Strikeforce, will take the leap from San Jose and Showtime to national television when the organization’s new weekly highlight show premieres late tonight on NBC.
“Strikeforce on NBC” will air tonight (tomorrow morning) at 2:00 AM ET, right after “Poker After Dark”.
Tonight’s half-hour show will focus around newly crowned Strikeforce World Middleweight Champion, Cung Le, who is coming off of arguably the biggest win of his career, a stoppage of former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock two weeks ago.
Le’s life inside and outside of the cage will be profiled and his TKO win over Brian Warren in June 2006 will also be shown. A welterweight clash between longtime veterans Duane Ludwig and Tony Fryklund will be seen as well.
After years of promoting strictly kickboxing, Strikeforce began to focus on mixed martial arts in 2006 and hired Frank Shamrock and Scott Coker to oversee their new venture. The organization put on the first-ever MMA event sanctioned by the state of California in the same year and also broke the North American attendance record for an MMA event at the same time.
Photo by Jon Swenson.
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A crowd of 16,326 generated over $1.1 million of live gate revenue for the “Shamrock vs. Cung Le” mixed martial arts mega-event at San Jose’s HP Pavilion on Saturday, March 29th.
“It was an incredible night all around,” said Scott Coker, CEO, Strikeforce, which co-promoted the event with EliteXC. “Our main event between Frank Shamrock and Cung Le was an epic battle that lived up to, if not exceeded, everyone’s expectations. The energy in the arena was as electric and intense as that at a Superbowl. You could really sense the magnitude of the fight and what was at stake in it through the emotions each fighter’s thousands of fans were expressing.”
In the main event, Le was crowned the new Strikeforce world middleweight (185 lb. limit) champion after a broken right wrist forced Shamrock to retire between rounds three and four.
Prior to the stoppage, Le was imposing his will with repeated round kicks to the body and side of Shamrock’s head as well as quick hands that found their mark on Shamrock’s face.
In the second half of the third round, though, Shamrock made a bold stand, backing Le into one side of the cage and tagging him with several punch combinations that appeared to put Le in trouble.
Two days prior to the event, NBC and Strikeforce announced that their two entities had entered a partnership agreement to produce the first-ever 52 week mixed martial arts series for a major TV network. “Strikeforce on NBC” will air every Saturday from 2-2:30 am ET, beginning on April 12th. Each show will be comprised of fighter profiles as well as Strikeforce mixed martial arts fights and highlights.
Before the close of 2008, three Strikeforce events will be distributed live on the Mark Cuban-owned HDNet. Strikeforce programming is also available in 22.5 million homes across Europe, The Middle East, and parts of Africa courtesy of Extreme Sports Channel.
A highlight posted to Youtube by ShoSports:
In a fantastic third round to an exceptionally exciting, give-and-take slugfest Saturday on Showtime, Cung Le delivers the kick that may have broken Frank Shamrock’s arm. Le captured the Strikeforce middleweight title when defending champion Shamrock could not continue after the third round.
SAN JOSE – In a bruising battle of Bay Area rivals, undefeated Cung Le broke the right arm of defending champion Frank Shamrock en route to capturing the Strikeforce middleweight title with a thrilling, give-and-take, crowd-pleasing third-round TKO Saturday on Showtime.
The long-awaited, eagerly anticipated mixed martial arts event, presented by EliteXC and Strikeforce, attracted an enthusiastic, well-behaved crowd of 16,326 at the HP Pavilion that produced a gate of more than $1 million. Those in attendance included EliteXC standouts Kimbo Slice, Jake Shields, Nick Diaz and Phil Baroni.
The fight card aired on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
Gilbert Melendez (14-1) of San Francisco successfully defended his Strikeforce lightweight belt with a second-round knockout over hard-trying but outclassed Gabe Lemley (11-7) of New London, Iowa, in a second world title match on a five-bout telecast.
In other televised scraps, Drew Fickett (32-5) of Tucson, Ariz., earned a shot at the vacant EliteXC welterweight crown against Jake Shields by submitting Korea’s Jae Suk Lim (9-4) in the first round; super heavyweight Wayne Cole (11-6) of Oklahoma City, Okla., submitted (armbar) Mike Kyle (9-6-1) of San Jose in the first round and EliteXC standout Joey Villasenor (25-6) of Albuquerque, N.M., knocked out Ryan Jensen (11-4) of Omaha, Neb., in the first round.
In the top non-televised fight, Tiki Ghosn (10-7) of Huntington Beach, Calif., registered an upset three-round decision over previously undefeated welter Luke Stewart (5-1) of San Francisco by the scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
Photo by Jon Swenson, Sharkspage.
Here’s our take on the main event of Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce’s co-promoted show later tonight where former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock will defend his Strikeforce title against undefeated former Sanshou kickboxer Cung Le in a battle of supremacy between San Jose residents.
“Shamrock vs Cung Le” will take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. Showtime will begin airing the televised portion of the card starting at 9 PM ET.
Bill Reger: For the last year plus, Cung Le has been calling out Frank Shamrock. For his part, Shamrock continually ducked him and said Cung was not ready for him. Well, Scott Coker got the signed names on the contract and here we go. During all the pre-fight hype, Shamrock has repeatedly said he sees a bunch of weaknesses in Le’s standup and he plans on exposing that standup.
Everyone is in agreement that Frank holds the decided advantage on the ground, so Shamrock may be taking a big chance keeping this fight on the feet. But if one watches the Shamrock’s fights over the last 8 years, he never goes for the takedown. He has even stated that he has done little wrestling training in preparation for this fight. This fight will remain standing and give Cung Le a legitimate chance at the upset.
Stylistically, Le’s striking is absolutely beautiful to watch. But up until this point, his opposition has been extremely weak. This is a huge step up in opposition. That being said, I’ll let the fan in me make a prediction and say Cung Le will win. Le is going to catch Frank with a nasty kick that stuns him and will go on to finish him. Cung Le by TKO in the 2nd round
Jamie Fitzgerald: Whenever you pick a guy using your heart rather than your head, it rarely works out. My heart is telling me that Shamrock will stand with Cung Le, and we’ll get to see Le display his diverse striking. My brain is telling me that Frank will take this fight to the ground and finally test Le’s ground game in an MMA event. Frank’s talking a big game about standing with Le. I really don’t believe him but if he does, we’ll see a game plan change.
Le’s stand-up will keep Shamrock guessing, but if Frank can stay calm, wait for his opportunities to take him down, he’ll win this with a late round submission. Otherwise, I think we’ll see Le with a 3rd round TKO. I’m pulling for Le, but think Frank will take it. This is a huge step up in competition for Le and there’s no doubt Shamrock experience will play a big part in the fight.
John Chandler: While Le’s unorthodox striking should be able to give Shamrock fits on the feet, I’m not seeing Frank keeping this fight standing for very long, despite what he has been continually saying about wanting to out-strike Le in the media. Shamrock can hold his own with almost anybody standing, but he’s definitely outclassed in this one. I’m sure he knows it too.
With that said, Shamrock should be able to dominate the fight if he’s able to take it to the ground. He’s been widely regarded as a submission wizard for years and he’s certainly going to look the part if he’s able to take Le out of his element and to the mat. I definitely don’t see this fight going the distance. Shamrock wins via armbar in the second round.
Above Showtime Sports asks away with Frank Shamrock. A total of 42 questions in all, rapid fire.
For those who don’t have Showtime and are still interested in seeing Shamrock vs Cung Le this Saturday night, Sho.com will be streaming the fight live at approximately 10:15 PM ET using the Showtime Cage Cam.
Diaz, Cesar Gracie Plan Legal Action Against CSAC
One day after the California State Athletic Commission surprisingly ruled that Nick Diaz will not be permitted to fight at this weekend’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” show, because he owns a medical marijuana card, Diaz and manager Cesar Gracie are now reportedly planning to take legal action.
Gracie told MMA Weekly that he plans to take the matter to court after CSAC Executive Director Armando Garcia stated that Diaz’s participation was denied because of late filing of medical papers.
“That’s absolutely not true,” Gracie said in the report. “Because if he didn’t turn his medicals in, how did Garcia know Nick has a mariijuana card? He found out when the medicals were turned in. For some reason, Armando’s finding every excuse in the book to not let this guy fight. That’s exactly why we’re going to move forward with legal action after this. We’re going to go ahead and get our lawyers and we’re going to sit down and go forward with the proceedings. This is just discrimination, you can’t do that.”
Spratt-Von Flue Signed for April 26
Pete Spratt and Jason Von Flue, both veterans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, will collide in a welterweight bout that will headline the Ultimate Warrior Challenge’s upcoming show on April 26th at George Mason University’s Patriot Center in Washington D.C.
Spratt is coming off of a controversial loss to Ryan Ford in February while Von Flue has dropped his last three fights. Notable fighters also on the card include Thomas Schulte, Carlo Prater, Aaron Riley, Marcelo Brito, and Zach Light.
Two Lightweights Fights Added to Sengoku II
A pair of lightweights bout have been added to World Victory Road’s next Sengoku show on May 18th: Satoru Kitaoka vs Ian James Schaffa and Eiji Mitsuoka vs Kwang Hee Lee.
Roger Gracie, Yuki Sasaki, and Yoshihiro Nakao, who was originally reported as facing Mirko Cro Cop at the recent DREAM event, are all expected to be in action. Even though his name was not mentioned, former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman has stated that he will be fighting at the show as well.
Evangelista, Sims, and Lennox In; Black Out
MMA Mania is reporting that Marlon Sims and Billy Evangelista will clash in a lightweight preliminary bout at tomorrow’s Elite Xtreme Combat and Strikeforce co-promoted “Shamrock vs Cung Le” show. However neither Strikeforce, EliteXC, or ProElite have made any sort of announcement of the fight at this hour.
It seems that Jason Black will not be fighting in the IFL after all just yet. Five Ounces of Pain reports through Nick Lembo, legal counsel for the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, that Black will not be on the card for undisclosed reasons. He will reportedly be replaced by Jesse Lennox.
Just as he did before his fight with Phil Baroni, Frank Shamrock is at it again, this time mocking Cung Le with the help of Shonie Carter.
Touch of gloves to Bloody Elbow for the find.
Herman Confirms Fight With Maia
While Demian Maia himself revealed that he would be fighting Ed Herman at UFC 83 in April back in January, questions about the fight have started popping up recently since the UFC has yet to officially announce the bout nor add it to the list of fights on their official website.
Well Ed Herman has now confirmed the bout in a recent interview with MMA Opinion:
CC. Rumors around the internet are that you are fighting Demian Maia at UFC 83, are these rumors true?
EH. Yes that’s true.
Rampage and Nike Pair Up
UFC light heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will star alongside Cleveland Cavaliers guard LeBron James and various other athletes for the filming of a new Nike commercial entitled “Human Chain” this weekend according to Josh Gross of Sherdog.
Jackson becomes the second mixed martial artist in history to be featured in a Nike ad. Randy Couture and his infamous cauliflower ears were shown on TV in 1996, via a commercial called “Scars”.
MMA About to Get “Nasty”
Former professional wrestler and member of the WWF and WCW tag team champion “Nasty Boys” Jerry Sags is set to enter the world of MMA, where he will take on Alabama Fight Night veteran Jason Pharro in the near future.
The news comes from our friends at Koco Sports, who have confirmed that Sags will start in a reality television series titled “Lesson in Respect”. The show will document Sags’ training in the weeks and months leading up to his fight against Pharro.
So how did this whole idea get started? Apparently Pharro had some choice words to say about pro wrestling and Sags took exception.
“I respect MMA,” Sags told Koco Sports. “But I don’t get where this guy gets off disrespecting our business, I have friends who have died doing what we do, families missing husbands, fathers & brothers and this guy is going to disrespect them, who they were and how they earned their living. Well that pisses me off and I’m ready to rip this guy’s face off.”
Frank Shamrock interviews Cung Le after his win over Sam Morgan at Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives. Photo by Jon Swenson.
Strikeforce and Elite Xtreme Combat have formally announced that former UFC middleweight champion Frank Shamrock and undefeated former kickboxer Cung Le will finally meet in a middleweight bout that will headline a co-promoted event titled “Shamrock vs Cung Le”, which take place on March 29th at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
“This is absolutely a tremendous fight and an extremely dangerous fight for both fighters, but one I know they have wanted and the fans have been waiting for and can’t wait to see,’’’ EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw said. “I can’t wait to see it either. Shamrock is a true MMA legend, but Cung Le is one of the very best fighters around, and this is his chance to prove that to the world.”
Since returning to active competition, Shamrock has submitted Phil Baroni and knocked out Cesar Gracie. His lone loss since that time came last February when he was disqualified for illegally kneeing Renzo Gracie while he was on the ground in their bout.
Le, a San-Shou expert and former K-1 kickboxer, is undefeated thus far in his mixed martial arts career. His last fight was a win over former UFC middleweight Sam Morgan in November.
There’s no doubt that the weeks leading up to this fight are going to be filled with storylines. Frank Shamrock can sell a fight. Period. The pre-fight trash talking is going to begin the second after this fight is officially announced and it’s going to be fun to follow.
Guess what? The trash talking has already started.
“Being No. 2 isn’t such a bad thing so Cung has nothing to be ashamed of,” cracked the ever-entertaining Shamrock. “But there’s a big difference between being No. 1 and No. 2. Le will find that out soon enough. This is a fight that has been building for years. This is where we both grew up, where we both found our paths in life as martial artists and champions of combat. It was inevitable that we would one day face each other here. I’m excited it’s finally happening.’’
A lightweight title bout between champion Gilbert Melendez and top contender Josh Thomson was also slated to take place at the event but now may be canceled according to Sherdog’s Josh Gross, who is reporting that Thomson will undergo surgery on an injured shoulder later this week.
Tickets for the event go on sale this Saturday at 1 PM EST.