twitter google

Shamrock vs. Le: Fight of the Year?

For me, Saturday’s main event between Frank Shamrock and Cung Le was somewhere between good and great. I will call it a very good fight.

Round three was tremendous and while Shamrock vs. Le might be the fight of the year thus far, I think it will be a disappointing year for MMA if it is in the top five of top matches come year’s end.

I enjoyed the fight and the San Jose crowd really added to the atmosphere. But my biggest issue with Shamrock vs. Le was that while it was contested under MMA rules, it really wasn’t an MMA fight. It was almost entirely a standup encounter, which I don’t have a problem with if that’s the an organic path for the fight to go down. But there were times when that fight could have and possibly should have gone to the ground and didn’t. If someone gets swept off their feet and is lying on their back, a fighter should go in for the kill.

A lesser issue I had with the fight was Shamrock’s incessant hand gestures throughout the fight. The “nighty-night” gesture during the Phil Baroni fight last June was awesome. But he went to the well once too often during the fight with Le. I’m all for a little showmanship and gamesmanship but when there is too much banter between combatants during a fight, the level of intensity decreases and it begins to feel like a glorified sparring match.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REMAINDER OF THIS ARTICLE ON SAM CAPLAN’S PROELITE.COM BLOG

21 COMMENTS
  • Jay says:

    I still laugh when I think about the “nighty-night” gesture! hilarious!!.

  • NealTaflinger says:

    A fighter should do what he or she thinks will win them the fight. I don’t see why three rounds of stand up fighting any less of an MMA match then three rounds of grappling.

  • Tommy says:

    Sam strikes again. Cung Le is doing awesome at his strengths, stand-up sweeps ect. But hey, let me follow Frank into his game where he has the advantage because I swept him. Just because it’s mma doesn’t mean you have to do every facet of the sport. Nick Diaz for example. Someone can dominate him on his feet but theres not many people in the world that should even try to fight him on the ground. So why should someone follow him to the ground? Especially when that’s what your opponent wants? Plus it’s disheartening to your opponent to not fight in his game. Shamrock couldn’t take him down so he tries to pull guard and when that doesn’t work he tries to wave Cung to the ground. Obvious what Shamrock wanted. So because Le swept him, he should abandon his gameplan and go to the ground or it’s not real mma huh.

  • Rich S. says:

    well, as of right now, i would say it’s fight of the year..
    it was action packed, had good length, and was a great upset..
    it didn’t cover all the aspects of MMA, as far as BJJ and wrestling goes..
    but it had alot of excitement.. and that IS the main factor in a FOTY candidate..

    until we see a good JJ/striking/wrestling clinic.. with a bunch of technique, talent, and heart.. this one has my vote.. for the 3 months we’ve gone so far..

  • eazye says:

    Is it that hard to call this “Fight of the year” when we really haven’t had a back and forth battle like this? I mean, after Wednesday night, we could say Edgar/Maynard or Lauzon/Florian are fight of the year. There haven’t been any really eye catching, must-see fights you tell your friends about this year so far. Was this the first “awesome” fight of the year? No doubt. Is this fight of the year? Ask me again in 8 months :)

  • Rich S. says:

    i don’t know.. FOTY is tricky..
    like.. Kos/Hazelett could be a candidate.. but it wasn’t long enough..
    same goes for Silva/Hendo..Mir/Lesnar.. etc. etc.
    so, shammy/le has been the first back and forth battle with great excitement, that also lasted long enough to enjoy..

    now, i personally really enjoyed Griffin/Tibeau.. that one had the back and forth factor, the excitement, and the lenght as well..

  • Jay K. says:

    A lesser issue I had with the fight was Shamrock’s incessant hand gestures throughout the fight. I’m all for a little showmanship and gamesmanship but when there is too much banter between combatants during a fight, the level of intensity decreases and it begins to feel like a glorified sparring match.

    Sam,

    I both edited and echoed your thoughts as they were exactly mine and the reason I believe Shamrock lost. Shamrock didn’t take Le seriously and therefore lost.

    Jay K.

  • Derek B. says:

    MMA FIGHT OF THE YEAR? I doubt that. It’s only March and we still have UFC this wednesday. Maybe stand-up fight of the year thus far, but I didn’t really see anything besides a stand-up war going on in this fight. I have to admit I really enjoyed the fight, but I would have like to see the fight go to the ground. I really doubt this will be one of the best fights of the year.

  • slimm says:

    up to now ehh yeah it was the most entertaining fight thus far, thx to all the gesturing from Frank to Le and so on….. i really wanted Le to knock out Frank been saying so for weeks leading up to the fight, i guess i will just have to settle for a broken arm instead…… awesome fight but Le needs to get a killer instinct he cannot allow a fighter when rocked to gain his senses back he almost paid for it when Frank popped him in the mouth real hard as much as i like Cung and always have this is MMA he needs to take advantage of stunning an oppent….
    after saying that, with all the upcoming fights this year and the possible fights i really dont see this fight being the fight of the year for 2008, no matter how entertaining and exciting it was to watch, hey they can possibly have a rematch late this year, if Frank heels soon enough, wonderful fight and thank god kyle lost in under a minute that was awesome… cheers

  • Mikey Gilz says:

    Definitly not fight of the year material. The first two rounds were mediocre, more show than fight. Third round was great, but I don’t believe a fight that ends with a stoppage due to injury can be considered Fight of the Year. I liked Guida vs. Huerta a lot more.

  • Kelvin says:

    “Definitly not fight of the year material.”

    Agreed…

  • Davey D says:

    I will say that this was the Fight of the Year, so far. Nogueira/Sylvia is a close second. Tapia/Buenalos would be thrid place.

    The best sub would go to Miguel Torres for his win over Chase Beebe. Joey Vissaloer (spelling?) would get best KO. His knock out of Ryan Jessen on Saturday was effin’ brutal.

    Cung Le showed that he is that damn good and could even be considered a top ten fighter in the MW class. I’d put him at #10. It really was a great fight. I’d advise any fan of MMA to watch it.

    As far as Cung not going to the ground against Shamrock. If he could avoid it then why should he? That part of the game wasn’t in his favor and he knew it. Frank’s hand gesture’s and antic’s were highly annoying. I’m glad he lost this bout. He gave it his all but it just wasn’t enough. Cung was the better fighter on Saturday night and I’m really looking forward to seeing his next bout.

  • ttt says:

    the third round was “round of the year” material, but overall, the first two rounds were too tame. i thought the WEC Crunkilton fight was a better fight. and Hose Baroni is not FOTY either.

  • Rich S. says:

    davey d., that’s VILLASENOR..

    and “I liked Guida vs. Huerta a lot more.” i was going to say the same.. but i believe that was last year.. sooo.. it’s not really eligable..

    i really think Ken-Flo/J-Lau has potential to be fight of the year..

  • truth says:

    I had a group of friends over my house for my birthday. Some diehard mma fans and some ( NBA NFL MLB) only fans, they never watch mma. The non-mma people were outside smoking cigarettes, bullshitting, etc could care less, til the Cung Le/Shamrock match. It amazing to watch a great mma match draw people in.

  • sarco says:

    Way too early to be talking about fight of the year. Besides, this fight was all stand up and ended with an injury. This fight was more of a huge let down than great fight.

  • Tom Biggins says:

    No, not fight of the year. It’s like you said Sam, with all the gestures and such, it looked like a glorified sparring match. And what else made it seem a little less than amazing was that neither fighter was trying to finish. There were quite a few times either fighter was rocked and they didn’t push the pace…only a few short times did this happen. A huge part of MMA is taking the risks required to win, or win big…neither fighter took risks.

    And Frank Shamrock standing wasn’t a fighter taking a risk…it was a fighter proving he had one hell of an ego…and then getting his arm broke.

  • Kogepan says:

    I don’t know about ‘going in for the kill’ when another fighter is on his back.

    JZ Calvan had Aoki on his back 3-4 times in their fight and he WALKED AWAY from Aoki even though he has fearsome ground and pound because of Aoki’s crazy guard skills. And frankly it was a good strategy for JZ because Aoki has no chance whatsoever of beating him in a standup fight.

    Same situation here. Why would Le go for the GnP if he is winning the standup war convincingly? He knows Shamrock cannot beat him standing up so why take the fight to the ground at all?

  • the one says:

    definitely fight of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!or top 5 if there’s gonna be in next 8 months.
    shamrock is truly entertaining(get well soon frank)and he knows how to be a mma superstar…..

  • Tom Biggins says:

    #18 I don’t think the question is why didn’t Cung go to the ground, but why didn’t Frank attempt a different strategy that would include taking it to the ground at some point.

  • Binsu says:

    “But there were times when that fight could have and possibly should have gone to the ground and didn’t. If someone gets swept off their feet and is lying on their back, a fighter should go in for the kill.”

    We’ve often seen Crocop let guys back up. I’m sure there are other examples of that. Nothing wrong with a striker wanting to strike.

LEAVE A COMMENT!

You must be logged in to post a comment.