SHAMROCK CHOKES OUT BARONI FOR STRIKEFORCE WORLD TITLE IN BARNBURNER
ELITEXC- STRIKFORCE MMA MAIN EVENT
LIVE ON SHOWTIME PPV
‘Ninja’ stops Villasenor, Le KO’s Fryklund in classic
Mixed Martial Arts extravaganza from HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA
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(SAN JOSE) - JUNE 23, 2007 - Before a crowd of 10,850 attending EliteXC-Strikeforce’s live
MMA event produced and distributed on SHOWTIME PPV. Frank Shamrock
(strikeforceusa.net, frankshamrock.proelite.com) became the first Strikeforce middleweight (185 lb. limit) champion n history by submitting Phil “The New York Bad Ass” Baroni (strikeforceusa.net, philbaroni.proelite.com) with a rear naked choke four minutes into the second round of their
liteXC-Strikeforce main event showdown that was nothing short of an all-out slugfest.
In other fights, Murilo “Ninja” Rua (murilorua.proelite.com), finished fellow former Pride Fighting Championship star, Joey “Dream Smasher” Villasenor (joeyvillasenor.proelite.com), in two rounds to capture the vacant EliteXC middleweight crown and world San Shou kickboxing champion, Cung Le (strikeforceusa.net, cungle.proelite.com), extended his undefeated mixed martial arts record to 4-0 by stopping UFC veteran, Tony “The Freak” Fryklund (strikeforceusa.net, tonyfryklund.proelite.com). in the second round of their featured contest.
The Shamrock-Baroni meeting lived up to all its hype and anticipation as both fighters rushed out of the gates and attempted to draw first blood. Shamrock controlled the first round, bombing on his opponent with punches before dropping Baroni with a hard right hand.
Shamrock was penalized one point for striking Baroni to the back of the head with two right hands. After the fight resumed, Baroni shot in and took Shamrock to the mat. The fighters worked their way back to their feet and Shamrock quickly went to work with his hands, repeatedly scoring with his jab and right hand.
In the second round, Baroni retaliated, attacking Shamrock’s body with right hand punches. Baroni answered a one-two punch combination by shooting for a takedown, but Shamrock defended by sprawling. Shamrock took Baroni’s back and secured a rear naked chokehold. Refusing to tap, Baroni was choked into unconsciousness. The referee halted the fight and awarded the technical knockout victory and Strikeforce title to Shamrock.
In the first-ever EliteXC Middleweight championship, after putting in a calculated first round of work, “Ninja” Rua exploded in the second round, unloading a flurry of punches and finally dropping Villasenor with a right hand counter. Rua rushed in and scored a handful of punches on his downed opponent before the referee stopped the fight at the 1:05 mark and declared Rua the winner and first-ever EliteXC 185 pound champion.
Like he did in his first three efforts in the cage, Cung Le quickly went to work with his arsenal of kicks before dropping Fryklund with a right hand. Le was completely poised throughout the first round.
In the second stanza, Fryklund found his mark and began backing Le up with his own punch combinations. Le successfully fought him off and, in the opening seconds of the third round, went on the attack; his right kick to the body set up a right hand that dropped and finished Fryklund at the 25 second mark of the round.
In other action, Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello continued his reign of terror over mixed martial arts’s heavyweight division by hammering former K-1 North America tournament champion, Carter “The Beast” Williams. Buentello dominated the first round of the matchup and, at the start of the second, unloaded two quick uppercuts to William’s chin that put Williams on his back and out of the fight.
Full Strikeforce-EliteXC “Shamrock vs. Baroni” Fight Card Results:
Seth Kleinbeck def. Sam Spengler – TKO (Strikes) 2nd Round (2:55)
Chris Cariaso def. Anthony Figueroa – Unanimous Decision (3 Rounds)
Rex Richards def. Ray Seraille – TKO (Punches) 1st Round (:34)
Luke Stewart def. Jason Von Flue – TKO (Strikes) 3rd Round (2:17)
Mike Pyle def. Aaron Wethersppon – Unanimous Decision (3 Rounds)
Nik Theotikos def. Nikk Covert – KO (Punch) 1st Round (1:13)
Edson Berto def. Victor Valenzuela – Submission (Heel Hook) 1st Round (:47)
Paul Buentello def. Carter Williams – KO (Punch) 2nd Round (:10)
Murilo Rua def. Joey Villasenor – TKO (Strikes) 2nd Round (1:05)
Josh Thomson def. Nick Gonzalez – Submission (Rear Naked Choke) 1st Round (1:42)
Cung Le def. Tony Fryklund – TKO (Strikes) 3rd Round (:25)
Frank Shamrock def. Phil Baroni – TKO (Rear Naked Choke) 2nd Round (4:00)
Paul Daley def. Duane Ludwig – TKO (Strikes) 2nd Round (:42)
All of the “Shamrock vs. Baroni” undercard fights are available for viewing at www.proelite.com.
“Shamrock vs. Baroni” is co-produced by ProElite, Inc. [PELE:PK], the parent company of EliteXC, and Strikeforce.
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About ProElite, Inc.
ProElite Inc. [PELE:PK] delivers the most exciting entertainment experience in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) with live arena-based entertainment events, cable television programming on Showtime Networks and community-driven interactive broadband entertainment via the Internet. ProElite embraces MMA with the highest levels of honor, integrity, discipline and self-esteem all the while remaining inclusive for fighters, fans and schools. ProElite’s live fight division, EliteXC, delivers spectacular live MMA fight events that showcase the world’s top fighters. ProElite’s interactive business, ProElite.com, capitalizes on the growing popularity of the sport of mixed martial arts by building a community of mixed martial arts enthusiasts. In addition to streaming the most exciting live fights to the web, ProElite expands the fan base of the sport by providing a comprehensive set of online social networking tools for fans, fighters and organizations. ProElite.com – Empowering the Fight Community TM
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. The rapidly growing organization recently re-launched its website, www.strikeforceusa.net, which boasts a bold new look and all-new features, including video streaming capability. 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.”
About Showtime Networks Inc.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME® TOO™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE® and TMC XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD™, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND™ and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND™. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI is also an owner and manager of SUNDANCE CHANNEL, a venture of NBC Universal, Robert Redford and SNI. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME® PPV.