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FRANK SHAMROCK VS CUNG LE
Strikeforce and EliteXC will put on a joint event March 29th at the HP Pavilion Center in San Jose, California. The event will air on Showtime and features a much anticipated middleweight championship bout featuring Frank Shamrock and Cung Le.
-Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le
-Gilbert Melendez vs. Gabe Lemley
-Jake Shields vs. Drew Fickett
-Joey Villasenor vs. Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos
-Nick Diaz vs. Jae Suk Lim
Here is my analysis of the event Starting with the Main Event:
Frank Shamrock vs. Cung Le
Cung Le is an exciting, dynamic striker. He brings a unique style to the ring. He throws more kicks then anyone I have seen in MMA and his strikes are pretty crisp. That being said, he is only 5-0 and has never been put on his back for extended periods of time. He also hasn’t been in the ring with a fighter the caliber of Frank Shamrock. Shamrock is a submission fighter who should swallow his pride and look to take this fight to the ground IMMEDIATELY. He says he wants to stand and trade with Le, but if he has any interest in keeping his middleweight belt, Frank should look to submit Le as early as possible.
Frank Shamrock -200
Cung Le +160
Shamrock - Submission - round 2
Odds courtesy of Sportsbook.com - Currently the Shamrock Cung Le fight is the only fight with odds posted however that may change by fight night, so check back.
Nick Diaz vs. Jae Suk Lim
When Nick Diaz destroyed Takanori Gomi at Pride 33, I thought he put the whole lightweight/welterweight world on notice. EliteXC snatched him up and he was supposed to be the poster boy of the 160 lbs division. Elite gave him a tune up fight against a Mike Aina, an 8-6 fighter who likes to stand up and bang. After decimating one of the best strikers in MMA, he was almost outpaced by Mike Aina. He ended up winning a controversial split decision against Aina. Elite immediately matched him up with KJ Noons for the 160 lbs title. Again, Diaz looked slow and rusty. His punching combinations looked as if they were being thrown in slow motion. KJ picked him apart and ended up winning when the doctor stopped the fight due to a cut. Oddly enough, Diaz mentioned in a pre-fight interview that the only way Noons would beat him is if he cut him.
Prediction: Nick Diaz
I am a big Diaz
fan, and he has one last chance to prove to me that he still takes
fighting seriously. I picked Diaz over Gomi because I believed his
style was an awful match up for the lightweight phenom and that was
exactly the case. Since that epic battle, Diaz has disappointed me.
Diaz has a strong chin and can take a punch. If he doesn’t get cut, he has a great chance of pulling off a win. I think this will be a methodical stand up fight for the first and second rounds with Diaz finding a hole in round 3 and knocking Lim out.
Jae Suk "The Korean Icepick" Lim
I have not seen much of "The Korean Icepick”, but I know he is a good submission fighter who also has great stand up, a similar fight approach to Diaz.
Joey Villasenor vs. Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos
Joey Villasenor is a pretty game fighter who trains with Greg Jackson. He was on a 15-fight win streak at one point in his career, but has not looked that sharp since joining EliteXC. He seems to have a hard time with aggressive strikers and Cyborg has a pretty intense stand up game. Cyborg trains with the world famous Chute-Box team and, like Villasenor, is well rounded in submissions and striking. Cyborg has all the potential in the world. This guy looks angry 24/7 and likes to take his aggression out on his opponents. The problem with Cyborg is that sometimes he comes to fight and sometimes he doesn't. Santos is coming off of a recent submission victory over Makoto Takimoto on March 5th, and if he has managed to stay in shape I see him giving Villasenor a lot of trouble.
If Villasenor can
weather the initial storm and get the fight into the later
rounds, he might be able to pick Cyborg apart. I am sure Greg
Jackson has a game plan for him, so lets see if he sticks to it
and can pull off a win. I have a feeling Cyborg is going to put
him down, though.
vs. Drew Fickett
Jake Shields is really making a name for himself in the welterweight division. He has asked EliteXC for tougher opponents, and he got one in Drew "The Master" Fickett. Fickett is a UFC veteran who went 4-3 with the organization. He is on a 3-fight win streak and will be one of Shields toughest opponents since joining EliteXC. Shields has been criticized for going the distance on too many of his fights. Jake has 20 wins, but ten of those wins are by decision. Although he has finished his last four fights, I don't see this fight ending in a TKO or submission on either end. Shields and Fickett are both submission wizards but neither possesses tremendous knockout power.
I think this will be a ground war where the clock will run out before either fighter pulls off a submission.
Jake Shields - Split Decision
Melendez vs. Gabe Lemley
Gabre Lemley is a relatively unknown fighter who is 11-6, but is on a five-fight win streak. He has a tough test ahead of him when he steps into the ring with Gilbert Melendez. Melendez is a dangerous fighter who is coming off of his first career loss, which was to Mitsuhiro Ishida via unanimous decision. Melendez feels that he won this fight, but wasn't awarded the decision because the fight took place in Japan and the fight was awarded to the hometown guy. Melendez is angry, and will look to finish this fight fast to get back on the winning track.
KO – round 1
Larry Vollmer Jr. is a mixed martial arts blogger for the Journal News. Check out his blog at http://mma.lohudblogs.com.