Bay Area Showdown: Strikeforce champion Frank Shamrock to fight Cung Le on March 29

frank shamrock cung lee
Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock (23-8-1) will put his 185-pound title on the line when he takes on Cung Le (5-0) during the main event of a joint show between EliteXC and Strikeforce promotions that will take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday, March 29.

The highly anticipated championship tilt, which is set for five rounds, will air on premium cable channel SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET.

Here's a snip from EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw on the match up:

"This is absolutely a tremendous fight and an extremely dangerous fight for both fighters, but one I know they have wanted and the fans have been waiting for and can't wait to see. I can't wait to see it either. Shamrock is a true MMA legend, but Cung Le is one of the very best fighters around, and this is his chance to prove that to the world."

Both Shamrock and Le reside in the Bay Area, creating some tension in the past between the two fighters. Therefore, there's certainly some serious bragging rights at stake for the winner of this bout.

Here's a snip from Shamrock on the rivalry:

"This is a fight that has been building for years. This is where we both grew up, where we both found our paths in life as martial artists and champions of combat. It was inevitable that we would one day face each other here. I'm excited it's finally happening.''

Shamrock -- a former UFC middleweight champion -- is fresh off a dominating performance over another rival, Phil Baroni, his last time out in June 2007. He has just one loss (Renzo Gracie) in his last 13 contests. However, he's competed just five times since 2000.

Le is an accomplished San Shou kickboxer who recently made the transition to mixed martial arts. He's looked fantastic on his feet albeit against some less than stiff competition. In fact, there are many who feel that Le has been protected and has yet to face a true challenge in MMA.

That's about to change -- Shamrock is well-versed in all aspects of the sport. It should be real interesting to see how Le responds to Shamrock's pressure if this fight hits the canvas. Not much is known about the grappling, wrestling or jiu-jitsu abilities of Le.

Here's a snip from Le:

"People have been wondering when I'd take the next step in the cage and fight an established superstar and world champion. Well, here it is. The fans are in for a great fight."

Tickets for "Shamrock vs. Cung Le" go on sale this Saturday, January 19 at 10 a.m. PT at the HP Pavilion box office, as well as through Ticketmaster. Feel free to also hit up EliteXC's official Web site and Strikeforce's official Web site for more details.

Note: The fight between Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez and Josh "The Punk" Thomson has been scratched from this card, according to Sherdog.com. Too bad ... that was going to be a good one.

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