(LOS ANGELES) June 11, 2007 – Exclusive access, never-before-seen footage and explosive rivalries all define “Countdown To Shamrock vs. Baroni,” a 30-minute magazine show set to premier on SHOWTIME on Tuesday, June 12 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. “Countdown” explores the highly anticipated world championship mixed martial arts showdown between former UFC middleweight king, Frank Shamrock, and UFC and Pride Fighting Championship veteran, “The New York Bad Ass” Phil Baroni. (
The 14-match mega fight card will take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. on Friday, June 22, and will feature Shamrock vs. Baroni in the main event with up to five other matches airing live on SHOWTIME® PPV (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). As many as five undercard bouts will be streamed live at ProElite.com while a few bouts will be reserved for those in attendance at the “Shark Tank.”
“Countdown” will take you inside the training camps for an exclusive look at the first-degree grudge match between the crafty and versatile legend Shamrock (frankshamrock.proelite.com, strikeforceusa.net) and the power-punching and edgy New Yorker with a bad attitude Baroni (strikeforceusa.net, philbaroni.proelite.com). At stake for both fighters are the coveted Strikeforce Middleweight World Title and their respective reputations. The pair has engaged in a veritable war of words since long before this match had been officially announced.
Also featured on “Countdown” will be in-depth interviews and exclusive training camp sessions previewing the EliteXC/Strikeforce fight between Joey “Dreamsmasher” Villasenor (joeyvillasenor.proelite.com, strikeforceusa.net) and Murilo “Ninja” Rua (strikeforceusa.net, murilorua.proelite.com), and the long awaited rematch between Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett (krazyhorse.proelite.com, strikeforceusa.net) and Victor “Joe Boxer” Valenzuela (joeboxer.proelite.com, strikeforceusa.net).
“Their last fight was a barn-burner,” said John Watkin, executive producer for Planet Grande Pictures, of the “Krazy Horse” – “Joe Boxer” fight. “It ended in a draw despite the fact that Krazy Horse was unconscious on his back at the end of the fight.”
Other bouts profiles include Cung Le (strikeforceusa.net, cungle.proelite.com) versus Tony “The Freak” Fryklund (strikeforceusa.net, tonyfryklund.proelite.com) and Paul “Head Hunter” Buentello (strikeforceusa.net, paulbuentello.proelite.com) versus Carter “The Beast” Williams (strikeforceusa.net, carterwilliams.proelite.com).
“Planet Grande has taken the collective vision of EliteXC, Strikeforce and SHOWTIME and put together a compelling and revealing show. They were able to convey the power and the tangibility of these athletes in a first-rate television production. We couldn’t be happier,” said Doug DeLuca, CEO of ProElite, Inc., the parent company of EliteXC.
EliteXC president Gary Shaw said, “This is a long-anticipated fight that the world of Mixed Martial Arts has been looking forward to with great anticipation and EliteXC is very excited to have an award-winning production company telling the story.”
”Countdown to Shamrock vs. Baroni” is produced by Eamon Harrington and John Watkin at Planet Grande Pictures, and presented by EliteXC and Strikeforce. Planet Grande’s Emmy Award-winning work has been seen on programs such as “Shades of a Single Protein,” a documentary on racism, hosted by Oprah Winfrey. Other shows include “World Series of Blackjack,” “Sex Bytes” for HBO, VH1’s “Crazy World of Juliette Lewis” and doc/concert series, “Two Hour Tour.” They are also responsible for some of television’s most highly rated shows like “Oprah Talks to Michael Jackson.” John Watkin describes the “Countdown” show as an “explosive barrage of punches, kicks, and curses, from two headliners who truly hate each other.”
”Behind the scenes footage, explosive action and serious trash talk: ‘Countdown to Shamrock vs. Baroni has it all,’” said Ken Hershman, senior vice president and general manager of Sports Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “Ever since the fight card was announced, the MMA community has responded with excitement and anticipation for this event. This countdown show will fan the flames as we prepare for a great night of television on Friday, June 22.”
ProElite is based in Los Angeles, California; Strikeforce is based in San Jose, Calif., and Planet Grande is based in Malibu.
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