Former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Cung Le’s UFC debut didn’t exactly go as planned, losing to Wanderlei Silva at UFC 139.
For some, Le’s loss to Silva proved that he doesn’t have what it takes to compete with the very best fighters in the UFC, but I don’t really think that’s the case.
For one, Le dominated his UFC 139 encounter against Silva, controlling the pace of the fight with his unorthodox striking techniques. Unfortunately for him, he came in a little chubby against Silva, and his poor cardio played a role in the loss.
Le’s relative inexperience in MMA also caught up to him at UFC 139, considering the fact several of the knees that ended up stopping him in the second round could have been avoided if he simply placed his hand on the canvas.
When you consider Silva’s courageous performance against former middleweight champion Rich Franklin at UFC 147 (he probably would have finished “Ace” in the second round, if the former middleweight champion wasn’t saved by the bell), Le’s loss to the Brazilian doesn’t really seem that bad.
Cung Le will have his hands full in his next fight against a highly motivated Patrick Cote at UFC 148, set for July 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. But he should be able to secure his first win inside the Octagon. Cote is certainly a competent striker, but like others who have faced Le, he’ll probably have some problems dealing with the Sanshou master’s fighting style.
Even though Le has a 7-2 professional MMA record, he’s never been dominated inside the cage. He completely outclassed Scott Smith before getting caught in the third round of their 2009 encounter, and he was clearly winning his fight against Silva before he gassed.
I expect Le to be at his very best at UFC 148, and I for one can’t wait to see him square up against Cote.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.