I didn’t have the guts to go all out and predict a Cung Le victory prior to his bout against Frank Shamrock but I wish I did because as far as performances by a fighter with six career MMA fights against someone with 34, this was one of the best ever. As for Shamrock, other than the fact that he was able to eat some of Le’s best shots (especially in the third round) I thought he fought a HORRIBLE fight. Le has no ground game while Frank does so why would he not try to expose him on said ground? Makes no sense. I know he wanted to prove all his doubters wrong but I am sorry to say that his ego was a major reason why he lost. Furthermore, all his antics during the match really got under my skin. I appreciate the fact that he’s a salesman and an entertainer but when it’s time to fight just shut up and fight.
Le needs to develop that KO power but last night he used his best kicks as an axe and just kept chopping away. Mauro Ranallo said it best when he referred to him as a lumberjack. It reminded me a lot of the Keith Jardine vs. Chuck Liddell fight from September.
All that said, I am not so quick to label this “fight of the year” just yet. This was more of a kickboxing than MMA match and that leads me to compare it to the great boxing bouts of 2008 which, in that case, it doesn’t quite measure up. I guess I am a little spoiled but for MMA fans that pay little attention to the sweet science I can sort of understand why they are giving it such high praise. It certainly was a an epic clash but when one fighter sweeps all three rounds its hard to call it a real classic.
One thing’s for certain, though, I hope that the next time we see Frank Shamrock get ready for a fight he will keep the talking to a minimum. I am all for showmanship and bravado but since signing with EXC he is 1-2 and I simply don’t want to hear any nonsense from a fighter who has lost two of his last three. Legend or not.
Photo courtesy of Tom Casino/Elite XC