(The Good, the Bad, and the Leathery.)
Cyborg, Shields, and Mean Mr. Munchies may be M.I.A., but tomorrow night’s EliteXC/Strikeforce show still has some very compelling match-ups going for it, including a main event that will pit the fan-hyped Cung Le against the self-hyped Frank Shamrock in a middleweight championship bout. You can catch the action on Showtime starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Here’s what the televised lineup looks like…
Shamrock vs. Le (for Strikeforce middleweight title)
Frank (24-8-1) has talked his usual trash about how he’s going to spank the relatively inexperienced Le (5-0), but trust us, it’s only for promotional purposes; Shamrock isn’t dumb enough to actually believe he’ll be cruising through an easy one tomorrow, and unlike his brother Ken, he’s not dumb enough to stand and trade with a superior striker. Le has the most devastating kicks in MMA right now, and he ended his last fight — against Sam Morgan last November — via the ultra-rare body-kick KO. But like other fighters who come from a kickboxing background, Le’s long-range kicks often leave him open for single-leg takedowns, and Shamrock could capitalize. He’ll certainly be looking to take the fight to the ground when the moment is right and finish Le by submission, and we think Shammy will succeed in the second or third round. If they really wanted to make this one interesting, the loser would have to accept eternal banishment from San Jose.
Drew Fickett vs. Jae Suk Lim (welterweights)
A.k.a., “The Battle of the Guys Who Were Supposed to Be Fighting Other Guys.” Rage in the Cage/UFC vet Drew Fickett (32-5) has choked out fighters like Josh Koscheck, Kurt Pellegrino, and Carlo Prater, and has generally faced much tougher competition than “The Korean Icepick” (9-3), who spent most of his career in Spirit MC. We’re loving Lim’s nickname, but it’s not going to help him much against the far-more-experienced Arizona native. Both men hadn’t been preparing to face each other, so it’s a bit of a wash, but judging from how Fickett’s done against guys with Lim’s skill level, we’d say a first-round submission victory is nearly inevitable.