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Why Cung Le will beat Frank Shamrock

strikeforce-artwork-0114200.JPG When the possibility of a match between Cung Le vs. Frank Shamrock began to be floated in early 2007 (and really, the two were talked about as possibly fighting each other long before that), my initial reaction was that Shamrock would tear through Le. The thing was, I was only looking at things on the surface and did not analyze things thoroughly.

To me, it was simple: Le is inexperienced in MMA and his ground game was unproven. There’s no way he could beat a well-rounded threat such as Frank Shamrock.

But I’ve done a 180 since then and I think this is Cung Le’s fight to lose. He’s a dangerous opponent and his athleticism is going to cause Shamrock problems. Le, despite being the slightly older fighter, is simply faster, quicker, stronger, and more dynamic than Shamrock.

The biggest problem in this fight could be Frank Shamrock’s ego. He rubs a lot of people the wrong way but I understand what he’s about. Some fighters say their job is only to fight and it’s the job of the promoter to promote their fight. It’s hard to argue with that line of thinking. If I was an athlete, I wouldn’t want to have to be distracted by a bunch of business-related drama.

That being said, pro athletes have a limited shelf life when it comes to peak earning potential. An average Joe like you and I in most cases can do what we do until it’s time to legally retire. But unless an athlete makes a ton of money, they have to find a new occupation after their athletic peak is over. Shamrock understands that by trying to be promoter in addition to fighter he can maximize his earning potential. I think more fighters should take Frank’s lead. It’s not right that they have to try and sell their own fights, but trying to be more than just a fighter is in their financial best interest.


  • Derek B. says:

    I sure hope that Le will defeat Shamrock.

  • NealTaflinger says:

    I think what we’re seeing is that the rock-paper-scissors world of MMA elite striking will beat elite grappling most times. Grapplers need to wrap you up to do their work and you can’t do that when a guy is putting his hands and feet all over you from 3-4 feet away. I don’t really get the “it was San Shou” argument used to denigrate Cung Le’s previous success in the ring, as if fast, hard, accurate punches and kicks won’t translate to MMA.

  • jaydog says:

    Frank will chase Le around the ring making funny faces, trying to psyche Cung out, while eating/blocking a few kicks and landing a couple shots. Maybe there’ll be a moment or two of “trying to beat him at his own game,” but when he thinks he’s in Cung’s head, he’ll go for a double leg, maybe even a slam similar to the one he pulled on Zinoviev. That’s my prediction.

  • Sam Cupitt says:


    In all seriousness though, I’d love to see Cung wheel kick Shamrock into unconsciousness.

  • […] Terrible Prediction: Cung Le will beat Shamrock. Posted on March 25, 2008 by supercrap These guys agree with me: Five Ounces of Pain | Why Cung Le will beat Frank Shamrock […]

  • mike wolfe says:

    Two words for Cung: Leg kicks.

  • ufcfan says:

    I think Frank Shamrock will pull it out, he rarely fights and I’d LOVE to see
    someone beat his ass to the ground but Cung Le has fought a bunch of cans so far. Shamrock is a smart fighter, with more experience in big fights. I see him submitting Le.

    The key is for Le to wear him down with leg kicks, Shamrock has a history of injuries.

    Like Kimbo Slice, I can’t buy into the hype of Cung Le until he starts beating people of note. Shamrock would be a great start.

  • slimm says:

    i voting for Cung in this fight, i cant wait to see him and Frank go at it…. #6, unlike Kimbo, Cung Le actually called out a (some would say) icon of the MMA world, who still can fight and fight well, but the last four fights for Frank havent been the most stellar of competition either imo… nevertheless i cant wait til saturday to watch some pretty good fights, cheers….

  • Ian says:

    This ranks up there with your Brock Lesnar over Frank Mir prediction, Sam. :)

    Frank Shamrock- TKO in the second.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Yeah Ian, because we all know that Brock was dominated in that fight! DOH!

  • Ian says:

    What’s that Sam? Sorry was just busy reading this article of yours?


    I will post in this thread for some appropriate crow pie should your prediction prevail sir. :)

  • cyph says:

    It’s real easy to pick the favorite. It takes gut to pick the underdog.

    On the other hand, if Sam is proven wrong, he should own up to it. No more ranking GSP ahead of Silva P4P and then put Matt Hughes in there to validate the pick, ya hear? =)

  • ufcfan says:

    yeah give sam a break…

    he also picked hendo over silva…

    just joking..keep up the great work!

    this the best MMA blog on the ‘net!

  • Ian says:

    I’m sure Sam knows I’m just giving him a hard time, seeing as how we appear to agree on just about everything.

    Other than picks~

  • CAP says:

    Frank Shamrock will handle Cung Le impressively and we will still be asking again, “Maybe Frank Shamrock really is that good?”

    Great site!

  • cunglefan says:

    It’s hard to say. Breaking it down by range:
    1. striking – advantage definitely Cung Le despite the fact that he really had no competition in his league in k1 or sanshou or mma so far.
    2. wrestling – Le wrestled in high school and college but never in mma, really. Agree about the cans.
    3. submissions – definitely advantage Frank.
    Even though Frank is very well rounded, it seems this match-up is somewhat striker v grappler though not really in the pure classic sense. No idea how Cung Le is defending subs against elite mma competition. I think he’s right to predict Frank will go for the leglocks and he’ll have to be ready to escape those. Who knows about armbars and chokes. He may revert to long-ago wrestling skills and inadvertently give up his back.

    Prediction – Cung Le by TKO 2nd round…

  • Ian says:

    I’ll take an order of Crow Pie please!

    You’re the man, Sam :)


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