By Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Frank Shamrock takes on Cung Le March 29 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif in an event co-promoted by Strikeforce and EliteXC that will air live on Showtime. Shamrock spoke with MMAWeekly about the match up that he views as a battle for San Jose.
“We’ve both been here for ten years fighting it out in San Jose. We’ve kind of taken turns with the town and with the arena. This is a fight for bragging rights, and this is a fight for the entire city. I saw the seating chart and we literally cut the arena in half. Cung gets half and I get half. So when it’s over, I’m just going to take all of the seats and the arena. It will all be mine,” commented the 35-year-old fighter.
Cung Le has five professional mixed martial arts fights, all won by knockout or technical knockout. Shamrock is an MMA legend. He was the first Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder. He’s fought on the biggest stages in the sport, but Shamrock admitted that the lesser experienced Le could defeat him.
“A guy like Cung, a guy like Cung can honestly beat me. He could knock me out. The only way anybody is going to beat me is to knock me out. That challenge is what scares me and gets me in the gym and that keeps me focused, and that’s what I need.”
Shamrock and Le are very familiar with each other. Not only do they fighting icons residing in the same city, the two used to be sparring partners. “I used to be his punching dummy,” said Shamrock.
“I think Cung Le is a challenge and that’s why I’m doing it. I like to be challenged in the ring and out. Nobody’s ready to step in the ring with me, or cage, or whatever. That’s just my personal opinion, but certainly not Cung.”
“I think I know his game. I think I know his style. He’s a technical puncher but not a power puncher. He’s a distance maker and he tries to get you to extend and what not. I think I know his game. I’m pretty confident with it. I think I’m just going to smash him,” stated the Strikeforce middleweight champion.
In Cung Le’s five MMA bouts, no one has taken the striker down. Asked if he would put Le on his back, Shamrock answered, “I don’t know if anybody has figured it out, but I haven’t taken anybody down since like 1998. The odds of me pulling that out are pretty slim. I’ve really dedicated my entire game to striking for the past like eight years. I think what the fans really want to see, especially new fans, is a good stand up game, and I’m game to stand up with Cung.”
Discussing how he thinks the fight will play out, Shamrock stated, “Here’s how I see the fight. We got out, he runs like a girl, I hit him in the chin, he starts taking me down just like Phil Baroni did,”
“I fought Phil Baroni with one knee. I’m going to take an arm off to fight Cung Le just to make it fair.”
Shamrock anticipates a large turnout for the March 29 event. He said, “We’ve got a dedicated 2 million people here who love mixed martial arts and support the fights. All we need is one percent of those guys and we’re going to kill it. I think we’re going to do 15 to 18,000 seats.”