Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le will no longer be facing MMA veteran Vitor Belfort in his UFC debut. Le was originally scheduled to face Belfort at UFC 139 on Nov. 19. Now, Le will face former Pride middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva at UFC 139 in San Jose, CA. Belfort was removed from the UFC 139 fight card, after suffering an undisclosed injury.
The MMA fight was announced by UFC president Dana White early on Sept. 21.
“Vitor is injured and out of San Jose fight. Now Cung Le will fight Wandy!” White Tweeted.
While many wanted to see the MMA fight between Le and Belfort, the matchup against Wanderlei is almost as intriguing. Silva hasn’t really been sharp inside the Octagon, losing three of his last four MMA fights. Still, Silva is certainly a notch above most MMA fighters Le has faced in his career. Silva knows he’s on thin ice with the UFC and I expect him to bring his very best against Le.
Le might not be as popular as Wanderlei is with casual UFC fans, but his 17-0 record as a kick boxer (7-1 record as a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter) certainly makes him a legitimate MMA fighter.
With Silva’s aggressive style and Le’s crisp technical striking, UFC fans should expect to a very interesting battle when these two MMA fighters meet inside the Octagon. Many don’t think Le is ready for the likes of Wanderlei, but I expect the 39 year old MMA fighter to win his UFC debut inside the Shark Tank.
Former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Dan Henderson will also be making his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship at UFC 139. Henderson will face former light-heavyweight champion Shogun Rua in the main event of UFC 139. With Urijah Faber, Martin Kampmann, and Rick Story already on the UFC 139 fight card, the promotion’s first show in San Jose, CA is starting to take shape.