Aaron Martinez was live on location for lastnights Strikeforce/EXC show from San Jose. Here is his recap of the event with quotes from the post fight press conference
Strikeforce: Le vs. Shamrock
San Jose, CA March 29th, 2008. He is battered… his face is bruised… he is tired and he is hungry. He is the new Strikeforce Middleweight Champion. Cung Le silenced critics Saturday night with a strong performance against an accomplished MMA legend and top 10-ranked opponent. After three rounds of picking Frank Shamrock apart with devastating kicks, Le finally ended the fight by breaking Shamrocks right arm when Shamrock attempted to block a kick to his face. At the end of the third round Frank Shamrock could not continue. Le cried and jumped in celebration of winning his most anticipated fight in his short MMA career.
“Tonight was a victory for Martial Arts in general, not just San Shou, not just MMA” Le said at the press conference after the fight. “Tonight is not about Strikeforce (and) it’s not about Elite… it’s about MMA, and about how MMA has crossed into the mainstream.”
Le seemed relieved and relaxed after the fight, sitting at the podium with his new belt making jokes while he licked the inside of his busted mouth. “One time I did a spinning back kick and he jumped on my back and I was like `Oh my god Spiders!” Le said, as he pretended to frantically bush spiders off his back and shoulders.
“I definitely got tested tonight. I really didn’t think Frank was going to stand and sure enough he stood right there and he got some good shots in, as you can see (from) my face.” Le said, still continuing to display respect Frank Shamrock as a fighter and a person. “Frank was my toughest opponent”
Shamrock was taken to the hospital and was unavailable for interviews after the fight where his wife, who apparently went into labor either during or right after the fight, joined him.
Joey Villasenor knocked out Ryan Jensen at the end of the first with an over hand right, which was followed up with a strike when Jensen was laying on the ground before referee Mario Yamasaki could call the fight and break up the fighters. Jensen had trouble with his peripheral vision and was taken to the hospital as precautionary measure.
MMA newcomer and former NCAA All-American wrestler, Wayne Cole, took down former UFC fighter, Mike Kyle, with ease before winning by arm-bar submission in 42 seconds. Cole is looking for a professional MMA camp to work with as he currently trains out of his two-car garage in Oklahoma.
Gilbert Melendez also won his title fight for the Strikeforce Lightweight Title against Gabe Lemley via ground and pound half way through the second round.
Drew Fickett handled Jae Suk Lim relatively easily with a guillotine choke in a little over a minute in the first round.