“Shamrock vs. Cung Le” Does $1.1 Million Gate
SAN JOSE, Calif. — 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.
About Strikeforce:Strikeforce is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, Strikeforce has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.” Since then, it has co-produced the first SHOWTIME PPV mixed martial arts event in history with its world championship “Shamrock vs. Baroni” card on June 22nd of this year followed by the first-ever mixed martial arts event at the world-famous Playboy Mansion on September 29th.