UFC on Fuel 6: Questions We Have About Cung Le
Cung Le is one of the most impressive strikers to compete in MMA in recent memory.
The way Le is able to blend his kicks with punches is downright beautiful to watch.
The former Strikeforce middleweight champion ran his undefeated streak to six wins to begin his MMA career. Le tasted defeat for the first time against Scott Smith but then defeated Smith in a rematch.
Le performed admirably, but lost, in his UFC debut against MMA legend Wanderlei Silva. He bounced back at UFC 148 with a victory over Canadian, Patrick Cote.
He now carries the weight of being the main event for the UFC's first event in China and faces a very game Rich Franklin on Saturday night. It's more of a novelty fight, but fans still have plenty of concerns about the former Strikeforce champion.
Will Cung Le's Striking Work at a High Level?
Cung Le's kicks are by far his most dangerous weapon. He throws kicks from angles opponents have never seen and it helps keep his opponents at bay.
He's given fans some flashy knockouts in recent memory, but those were against what MMA fans would definitely call lesser competition. Le had some success in the early going against Wanderlei Silva, managing to score a knockdown before losing.
Le enjoyed more success against Patrick Cote at UFC 148 and was able to earn a decision victory.
How will Le's striking work out against upper-level competition?
Rich Franklin isn't a high-level guy at this point in his career, but he should provide a good barometer of where Le ranks among the middleweights. Le likely won't make a title run in the UFC but could become a solid gatekeeper in the middle of the 185-pound limit.
More likely, though, Le will be used to fight UFC mainstays who are on the downside of their careers to provide entertaining fights for fans. That means he won't have to worry about facing high-level strikers in his UFC tenure.
How Serious Is Cung Le with His UFC Career?
Cung Le was one of the fighters who were instrumental in getting Strikeforce off the ground. A very well-known martial artist in the San Jose area, Le had a personal goal of helping the promotion get off the ground.
After winning the Strikeforce title against Frank Shamrock, Le would relinquish the belt after not being able to compete. Le returned after a 21-month absence and suffered his first loss to Scott Smith.
Le has been more active since joining the UFC, but how serious is he with this part of his MMA career? Movies are easy paydays for an accomplished martial artist like Le, and they also don't involve trips to the local hospital after shooting a scene.
Will Le leave the UFC hanging if a major motion picture deal comes along?
Where Does Cung Le Belong in the UFC Middleweight Rankings?
Cung Le only sports an 8-2 professional MMA record but is also 40 years of age. That means Le is likely destined to face big-name fighters who are on their way out of the game.
But what if Le is able to defeat Rich Franklin this Saturday?
Franklin isn't a middleweight contender by any means but is regarded as being a capable fighter. He could be in line to see a tougher fight his next time out if he wins two in a row.
Is that something Le would be interested in?
It could become a great narrative for the UFC to build on if the 40-year-old Le can somehow get close enough to smell a title shot; the narrative could pay big dividends at the box office given Le's exciting style.
Will Le choose to place himself in entertaining fights, or does he plan to compete in relevant fights after the Franklin bout?
How Serious Is Cung Le's Injury?
It's common knowledge that every fighter enters a bout with some kind of injury. However, Cung Le is suffering from more serious of an injury than simple fatigue.
Le will be entering his contest with Rich Franklin after going through an entire training camp with a broken foot. Le told Ariel Helwani that the pain has been pretty bad in camp, but that he's hoping to be 100 percent by the time the cage door closes.
How will the injury affect Le's performance in the cage on Saturday?
A broken foot is no fun to begin with but given Le's proficiency for kicks, the injury is likely to be even more of a detriment.
Le could be in for a long night against Franklin if he can't get his kicks going. Franklin won't slow down like Patrick Cote as the fight wears on.