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.