Two former champions, one from pride and the other the UFC, will go toe-to-toe early Saturday morning for nothing more than the love of competition. That is right when Rich Franklin and Cung Le step into the cage the thought of title shots, up and comers, pride, or legacy will not matter. No, this is a battle between two aging fighters who just love to compete. Both of them had careers, could make money elsewhere, or have had careers that paid them well, but they still enter the cage because they are fighters. A lot of that sentiment has been lost on newer fighters, but fi you want to see two fighters that know what that word means check out the fight between these two.
Since Franklin relinquished his title to the knees of Anderson Silva in 2006 he has floated around the UFC fighting when needed. He was never really competitive in the light-heavyweight division since his home is at 185. Unfortunately, when he lost the chance to reclaim his title against Silva in October 2007 he was a fighter without a weight class. SInce his second loss to Silva he went 5-3 only losing to champions in the process who were Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, and Forrest Griffin. Franklin’s skills have not declined too much, and he is probably one of the more well rounded fighters in the division. In Le he has to worry about the standup.
Cung Le was a one time champion in Strikeforce, but he relinquished his title in pursuits of Hollywood. Fighting on the silver screen and the allure of the UFC brought him back into the cage. His introduction into the cage was going well until his cardio failed, and he was finished by Wanderlei Silva in the second round. He came back in July of this year to outlast former middleweight contender Patrick Cote to pick up his biggest win. A foot injury left this bout in doubt, and we will see if it hinders Le in this fight.
The Bottom Line:
If Franklin can avoid the kicks and punches from Le he will win this fight when Le’s cardio fails. Look for this fight to be interesting, and barring a failure of Franklins chin he will pick up a TKO late in the third round.