UFC on FUEL TV 6: Franklin vs. Le goes down this Saturday from CotaiArena in Macau, China. The event is headlined by a 185-pound fight between former UFC middleweight champion Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le.
With the five-round main event bout coming at a critical point in each man’s career, we break down what a win on Nov. 10 means for the two men carrying the UFC on FUEL TV 6 fight card.
Former UFC middleweight champion Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin fights at middleweight for the first time since April 2008 when he takes on Cung Le in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 6 in China.
At 38 years old, Franklin’s clock is ticking and there is really no telling how many fights he has left in the tank. Despite his age, Franklin is one of the best-conditioned athletes in the sport today and this allows him to push a pace few can match. Who has the better cardio may very well determine the winner of the fight.
After fighting his last seven bouts in the light-heavyweight division or at a catch-weight, Franklin returns to 185-pounds where he was champion of the UFC from 2005 to 2006 before a man named Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva came along.
Franklin has established his return to middleweight is for one reason and one reason only – to make a run towards the title and try to recapture his former glory.
Le is far from the type of opponent that will get Franklin a title shot, however, the former Strikeforce champion is a fairly big name and a win over him is a good building block for Franklin to begin a title run.
If Franklin is sincere about putting in the work to try and become a world champion again, losing to Le is absolutely out of the question. Franklin is the betting favorite in the fight and needs to show everyone why. A win for Franklin puts him back on the map in the middleweight division and sets him up for a fight against a top-10 fighter at 185-pounds, which, depending on who the opponent is, could put Franklin near the title fight he is aiming for.
Former Strikeforce middleweight title-holder Cung Le gets a healthy step up in competition from his last fight against Patrick Cote when he takes on Franklin.
At this time last year, fans were waiting to see Le make his Octagon debut against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 139. Le lost the debut to Silva but rebounded with a decision win over Patrick Cote at UFC 148 in July.
Le has fought former world champions and other great fighters before, but Franklin is arguably the most complete fighter Le has faced to date. Franklin is about as durable as they come and the bout is really going to say a lot about how good Le is and if he can defeat championship level opposition.
A win over Franklin would catapult Le far up the rankings. At 40-years old, a lot of people thought Le would be one and done in the UFC after having his nose smashed by Silva in his debut, however, he is about to fight in the Octagon for the third time.
Should Le come out of UFC on FUEL TV 6 victorious, he will prove he is not just a movie star, but also a legitimate fighter who can beat former world champions, and not just the Patrick Cote’s of the world.
Will a win on Nov. 10 earn Le a chance to fight for the title? Highly doubtful. He would, however, establish himself as a serious threat at 185-pounds and should he decide to keep on fighting, may very well crack the top-10 rankings.