Completed MMA Bout

Cung Le vs. Frank Shamrock

Main Event | Strikeforce Middleweight Championship | 185 lbs

Cung Le defeats Frank Shamrock via KO/TKO at 5:00 of Round 3

Cung Le
Frank "The Legend" Shamrock

Round 3

Cung Le Frank Shamrock

"The Legend"

5-0-0   Pro Record At Fight   23-8-2
Climbed to 6-0   Record After Fight   Fell to 23-9-2
+163 (Slight Underdog)   Betting Odds   -188 (Slight Favorite)
Challenger   Title   Champion
Vietnam   Nationality   United States
San Jose, California   Fighting out of   Santa Monica, California
35 years, 10 months, 4 days   Age at Fight   35 years, 3 months, 3 weeks
183.0 lbs (83.0 kgs)   Weigh-In Result   185.0 lbs (83.9 kgs)
5'10" (178cm)   Height   5'10" (178cm)
70.0" (178cm)   Reach   N/A
Cung Le's MMA   Gym   The Alliance
  • Bout Information
  • Event: Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Le
  • Date: Saturday 03.29.2008
  • Referee: Mario Yamasaki
  • Venue: HP Pavilion
  • Enclosure: Cage
  • Location: San Jose, California, United States
  • Bout Billing: Main Event (fight 8 of 9)
  • Pro/Am: Professional
  • Weight: 185 lbs (83.9 kg)
  • TV Commentary: Mauro Ranallo, Bill Goldberg, Stephen Quadros
  • Broadcast: N/A
  • Post-Fight Interviewer: Bill Goldberg
  • Le Total Disclosed Pay: $200,000
  • Shamrock Total Disclosed Pay: $300,000
  • Title on Line: Strikeforce Middleweight Championship
  • Belt Status Before Fight: Held by Shamrock
  • Event Links:


Le vs. Shamrock Wiki

Predominantly known as one of the premier Sanshou kickboxers in the world—having gone undefeated in that sport over a six-year career—Cung Le made a splash among MMA fans when he ran his record to 5-0 while competing under the Strikeforce banner. In March of 2008, Le and former training partner Frank Shamrock met in one of the best fights of the year, with Le ultimately forcing Shamrock to quit to a broken arm.

“Cung’s a challenge for me. He’s got a slippery style, a sneakier style, but I don’t have any doubts in my mind [that] I’ll smash him,” Shamrock said before the fight. “There’s a lot of ways I can knock out Frank,” Le said, “we’ll just find out how it ends up.” Le, introduced as a Sanshou champion, made his way to the cage first, followed by Shamrock, who was hailed by announcers as one of the most famous and legendary fighters of all time.

In a close first round, Shamrock was unable to get Le to the ground on a double-leg takedown attempt, and in the ensuing standing exchanges, Le’s kicks scored to the legs and body of the defending Strikeforce Middleweight Champion.

Ranallo: “Cung Le calls his striking style thunder and lightning.” By the end of the second round, it was clear that Le had found his range, and while Shamrock had avoided taking any significant damage, it seemed only a matter of time before one of Le’s roundhouse, wheel, or sidekicks found their mark on the chin of the champion. Shamrock showed his championship character in the third by battling back from the downhill slide. Shamrock figured out that his best chance of winning lay not in getting Le to the ground, but in clinching Le against the cage and dirty boxing him. The strategy nearly worked, as Shamrock had Le hurt from some beautiful inside shots. But after working his way back off of the cage and brutalizing Shamrock some more with kicks to the body, Le snapped Shamrock’s forearm with a roundhouse kick. Shamrock gutted out the final seconds of the round in unimaginable pain, and was unable to answer the bell for the fourth round due to the broken arm.

Although it was only his sixth win in MMA, Le’s stock rose considerably following the victory over Shamrock, but the budding superstar elected to bow out of active competition for over a year and a half to pursue acting jobs in Hollywood films, only returning in December of 2009 when he was knocked out in the third round by Scott Smith.

Last updated 09.26.2012, 11:28 PM ET
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