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5 Fights for Cung Le to Take Next

Steven MuehlhausenContributor IIINovember 10, 2012

5 Fights for Cung Le to Take Next

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    In the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 6, Cung Le defeated former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin by devastating knockout 2:17 into round one.

    Le who recently starred in "The Man With the Iron Fist" has a bevy of options that he can choose from. Does he continue doing movies? Or does he continue fighting?

    Here are five fights that could be next on the horizon for the former Strikeforce middleweight champion.

5) Anderson Silva

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    This is the unlikeliest of the five fights that could be next, but gauging on Twitter after the fight ended, people have been saying this is a fight they want to see.

    After Strikeforce was purchased by Zuffa LLC in March of 2011, Cung Le was shown in the crowd of Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley card in April of 2011. Showtime showed Le in the crowd during the show and Strikeforce commentator, Mauro Ranallo, said Le vs. Silva should be made.

    It was a fantasy matchup people talked about when Le was in his prime. Le is now 40 years old and will be doing more movies and Silva is aiming for a superfight with Georges St. Pierre or will face the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Tim Boetsch.

4) Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza

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    This fight makes a lot of sense on a lot of levels.

    If the rumors from MMAFighting.com are true, the last Strikeforce show will be taking place on January 12 and as of right now, Souza isn't scheduled to be on the card. Souza had been campaigning for a fight with Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, but the organization opted to go with Lorenz Larkin.

    This fight would be a battle of former Strikeforce middleweight champions with both guys coming off knockout wins, with Souza defeating Derek Brunson in August.

    If Le is going to continue his career and want to make a run at the title, Souza would be a natural progression towards getting a shot at the middleweight title.

3) Brian Stann

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    Usually the UFC doesn't pit a fighter who just lost his most recent fight against a fighter who is on a two-fight winning streak.

    The former U.S. Marine lost by unanimous decision against top contender Michael Bisping at UFC 152 in September, but it was a fight that quite arguably was even on the scorecards heading into the third round.

    On the post-fight coverage of UFC on Fuel TV 6, Stann stated that it would be an honor to fight Le, after losing two of his last three fights.

    Stann fits the bill for a fun and exciting fight, as both guys are standup fighters and would make for a highly entertaining contest.

2) Jake Shields

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    A lot of fans are going to say that Shields doesn't deserve an opportunity for high-caliber fight.

    Shields returned to middleweight division at UFC 150 in August and defeated Ed Herman via unanimous decision. Shields announced last month via a press release that he used a prohibited substance before the bout with Herman and was suspended six months by the Colorado Boxing Commission.

    Shields and Le have a history with each other. Le, after winning the Strikeforce middleweight title from Frank Shamrock, ended up never defending the title due to movies he was shooting, and he relinquished the belt.

    Strikeforce then had a fight between Shields and Jason "Mayhem" Miller for the belt vacated by Le in November of 2009 at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers. Shields defeated Miller by unanimous decision to win the title.

    Shields, after the fight, called Le out saying Le was afraid to fight him. The fight never materialized as Le fought two more times in Strikeforce going 1-1 against Smith.

    Shields had one more fight left on his Strikeforce, beat Dan Henderson in April of 2010 and then signed with the UFC. 

    Shields doesn't come off his suspension until February and Le stated in a post-fight interview that he is going to take time off to heal his foot.

    That will be enough time for both to prepare and then settle the feud.

1) Winner of Alan Belcher/Yushin Okami

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    Alan Belcher and Yushin Okami square off in a rematch from their UFC 62 battle at UFC 155 on December 29 out in Las Vegas in a key middleweight bout.

    Each fighter is in the top 10 in the middleweight division.  The winner creeps closer to being in the top five in the division and closer to a title opportunity.

    If Le is going to make a run at the title and not do movies until he retires from fighting, this is the best option for his career.

    You can follow me on Twitter @fightclubchi.

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