Don't call him over-the-hill just yet.
Fresh off his 40th birthday, Cung Le landed some flashy strikes and then used a pair of late takedowns to salt away a unanimous decision victory at UFC 148.
Le (8-2) looked like the more comfortable fighter at the outset, and though he appeared to tire as the fight wore on, Cote (17-8) was unable to capitalize.
It was Le's first victory in the UFC.
What We'll Remember from This Fight
Octagon rust was very much evident on both sides. This was only Le's third fight in two years, and it was Cote's first fight in the UFC since October 2010. Though both men landed plenty of strikes, both also looked stiff and sluggish at times.
In the end, it was a feel-good win for the venerable Le. Cote's comeback trail now seems a lot less straight.
What We Learned about Patrick Côté
He would have had a tough time beating any UFC opponent worth his salt tonight. Cote was not regularly able to close distance, and when he could, he wasn't able to flex his power game.
What We Learned about Cung Le
His fighting style doesn't appear sustainable over the course of a full fight. Le's chest was heaving toward the end, and his attack flagged right along with his energy. But he did enough to win, and that's what matters.
What's Next for Patrick Côté
All is not lost for the French-Canadian. He can continue to make some hay with his story of redemption, and maybe draw some eyeballs to a dance with the loser between Nick Ring and Court McGee.
What's Next for Cung Le
Assuming this wasn't just a pub stunt for "The Man With the Iron Fists," Le may be a viable middleweight. That said, I'm still not sold on Le. Let him earn one in the trenches against someone like a Buddy Roberts before he gets another pay-per-view engagement.