Frank Shamrock vs. Phil Baroni on June 22
This Friday in San Jose, former UFC middleweight champ and MMA legend Frank Shamrock takes on Phil Baroni in a fight that has been building up for close to a year now. The two fighters square off for the vacant Strikeforce middleweight belt (in an event co-promoted by EliteXC), but a shot at the title seems to be the least interesting aspect of the fight.
The brash and cocky Baroni -- a veteran of UFC and PRIDE -- began the war of words last year by calling out Shamrock online. Shamrock retaliated on YouTube late last year with this video after a previously scheduled bout between the two was canceled.
In recent weeks, even UFC President Dana White has stepped into the fray. White and Shamrock have had a beef dating back to Shamrock's UFC days. And according to Baroni in this video, White has offered to double Baroni's June 22 payday if Baroni knocks out Shamrock.
I'm not sure if it's even possible, but hopefully the fight itself will be as entertaining as the hype and trash-talk leading up to it.
The rest of the card
Word out of California last week was that main event fighter Murilo Rua had failed his physical, leaving his opponent Joey Villasenor currently without someone to fight. There is no word on who Villasenor's new opponent will be or even whether he will fight on this card.
In the under card, Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett returns to action in a bout against Victor "Joe Boxer" Valenzuela. Fans will remember Bennett as the entertaining, trash-talking machine who stopped KJ Noons cold in EliteXC's debut event in February. Bennett will look to continue his unpredictable ways and celebrate a victory on Friday with his customary back flips off the top of the cage.
Online and televised coverage
The under card of the event will be streamed live for free at proelite.com beginning at 7:30 PM EST. The main card will air live on Showtime pay-per-view beginning at 10:00 PM EST.
For more information on the Shamrock-Baroni fight as well as all the other fights on the June 22 card, visit elitexc.com.