A crowd of 16,326 generated over $1.1 million of live gate revenue for the “Shamrock vs. Cung Le” mixed martial arts mega-event at San Jose’s HP Pavilion on Saturday, March 29th.
“It was an incredible night all around,” said Scott Coker, CEO, Strikeforce, which co-promoted the event with EliteXC. “Our main event between Frank Shamrock and Cung Le was an epic battle that lived up to, if not exceeded, everyone’s expectations. The energy in the arena was as electric and intense as that at a Superbowl. You could really sense the magnitude of the fight and what was at stake in it through the emotions each fighter’s thousands of fans were expressing.”
In the main event, Le was crowned the new Strikeforce world middleweight (185 lb. limit) champion after a broken right wrist forced Shamrock to retire between rounds three and four.
Prior to the stoppage, Le was imposing his will with repeated round kicks to the body and side of Shamrock’s head as well as quick hands that found their mark on Shamrock’s face.
In the second half of the third round, though, Shamrock made a bold stand, backing Le into one side of the cage and tagging him with several punch combinations that appeared to put Le in trouble.
Two days prior to the event, NBC and Strikeforce announced that their two entities had entered a partnership agreement to produce the first-ever 52 week mixed martial arts series for a major TV network. “Strikeforce on NBC” will air every Saturday from 2-2:30 am ET, beginning on April 12th. Each show will be comprised of fighter profiles as well as Strikeforce mixed martial arts fights and highlights.
Before the close of 2008, three Strikeforce events will be distributed live on the Mark Cuban-owned HDNet. Strikeforce programming is also available in 22.5 million homes across Europe, The Middle East, and parts of Africa courtesy of Extreme Sports Channel.