UFC 139 Predictions: How Cung Le Can Beat Wanderlei Silva
Le has been in the fight game since 1997, amassing a perfect 16-0 kickboxing record while going 7-1 in mixed martial arts. The highly skilled Sanshou practitioner will have a big test in front of him as he takes on former Pride Middleweight champion and MMA legend Wanderlei Silva.
As most fans have seen, Silva is not the same fighter as he used to be. His once solid chin is now made out of glass, a factor easily exploited by the likes of Chris Leben and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Le, who has finished each of his opponents in his seven victories, will likely look to take advantage of this.
Strategically, he must fight his fight by keeping the distance while blasting away at Silva with kicks. Staying in the clinch or at short distance would leave Le exposed to "the Axe Murderers" heavy hands.
Silva has had trouble with good kickers in the past. Mirko Cro Cop knocked Silva out with a head kick in the first round of their semifinal battle during the Pride 2006 Openweight Grand Prix.
Unlike Cro Cop, however, Le's kicks will becoming from many different angles that Silva has never seen before. Using spinning back kicks, hopping side kicks, and downward heel kicks will certainly frustrate the former Pride champion who will likely be looking to get inside and trade with Le.
Will Cung Le defeat Wanderlei Silva?
Le also has the option to wrestle with Silva if he finds himself getting rocked and wanting to avoid a stand-up war.
If he chooses to utilize his Sanshou sweeps and wrestling take downs in order to bring the fight to the mat, he has to look out for Silva's submissions as the MMA legend is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.
However, I doubt that the fight will make it to the ground.
For Le, the path to victory is simple–keep distance and pick Silva apart.
If the former Strikeforce champ can do that, he should be able to send Silva into retirement.
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