March 31, 2008

Cung Le beats Frank Shamrock!



I admit that I missed this fight. Catty doesn't have cable, so she probably missed it too. You can read the story here.

Anyway, Cung Le beat the virtually unstoppable Frank Shamrock by TKO when he broke Shamrock's arm with strikes. Shamrock was unable to continue after the third round. I was in New York when two Russian guys named Igor Zinoviev and Victor Tatarkin started cleaning up the New York judo scene. Igor moved on to fight in the Extreme Fighting Championship and won the middleweight title by beating Mario Sperry, a Brazilian Champion with a long win record. When Frank beat Igor the UFC with a bodyslam that ended his career, I personally knew that Frank was the real deal. As I predicted at the time, Frank went on to dominate the UFC, including his famous knockout win over an exhausted Tito Ortiz.

Cung Le has had a shorter MMA career--he was mostly involved in kickboxing and Wu Shu in his younger years--but he's no less amazing. It's always amazing to see a skilled striker take out a seasoned MMA veteran, especially when it comes from strikes. I do remember seeing one of his earlier fights when he first made the MMA transition. He was a bit hesitant to fight on the ground, but he did an amazing job at ensuring that the fight was a striking match. As with most of his fights, his opponent eventually gave up trying to take him down, and the result was a knockout in Le's favor.

Anyway, outside of B.J. Penn and Denis Kang, I think he's one of the few Asian American MMA competitors, and now he joins B.J. Penn as a world champion.

Frank Shamrock also deserves props for being extremely gracious in defeat:
"Cung Le broke my right arm," Shamrock said. "I could feel the bones clicking
together. Anyone who says Cung Le doesn't know submissions ... he put one on my
arm."
(Picture from http://fightstalker.com/?s=strikeforce)

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