the sport’s ongoing expansion across the globe, accomplished
veterans Rich franklin and Cung Le will headline the UFC’s first ever trip to
on Fuel TV 6: Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le
On Nov. 10th, a middleweight contender match
featuring Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le will headline the UFC’s first official card
in Macau, China.
By upsetting Patrick Cote as a +160 odds underdog back in
July, Cung Le was able to lower the original line against Franklin by as much
as 60 cents-- down from -320 to-260.
Heading into the match against Cote, the consensus
was that Cung was on his way out-- many were expecting both his age and lack of
endurance to ultimately catch up to him against an opponent as durable and
heavy handed as Cote.
However, unlike what we saw in his loss against
Wanderlei Silva, this time Cung was able to superiorly pace himself for all
three rounds, utilizing an active kicking game in the first and a late takedown
in the third to ultimately secure a
29-28 decision over the Canadian.
Franklin, meanwhile, unquestionably proved to be the
sharp betting side in a recent decision over Wanderlei Silva in Brazil. At a
closing price of -144, Franklin survived an early knockdown and went on to out-strike
Silva in a convincing decision win.
We already know that Cung’s ability to actively
score from the outside with his unique kicking game is the single greatest
hurdle franklin has to overcome in this fight.
As was the case in the first round against Cote,
Cung can easily win the first round against Franklin solely based off his
movement and pinpoint accuracy from the outside. However, that same, much more
distant firing range of Cungs’ has proven significantly more difficult to counter
while he’s still fresh in the first round.
Lately, the tradeoff with those early first round
kicks has been a lack of remaining cardio for Cung in the second and third
rounds. At 40 years old, it’s safe to
assume that Cung simply no longer has the ability to maintain the same kicking
output he was accustomed to producing over the years as an elite kickboxer.
Much like we witnessed in his second round loss to
Wanderlei Silva, Cung slowed down considerably heading into the second frame
against Cote. Not only was he having considerably more trouble keeping Cote off
of him in the clinch, but he was getting walked down with clean, hard right
hands for portions of the round.
Seeing Rich Franklin get rocked in the first round
of his last fight and still manage to outpoint his way to a 5 round decision
over Wanderlei Silva suggests he’s got much more left in the tank than an equally
aged veteran in Cung Le. Once this fight
hits the second round, I see Franklin gradually connecting with hard, straight
lefts that either force a late stoppage or a convincing 29-28 decision. Hence, I will be putting Franklin on my UFC picks ticket.