Dynamic middleweight Cung Le delivered an extremely entertaining albeit unsuccessful performance in his UFC debut this past November when he faced Wanderlei Silva. Now it appears the former Strikeforce champion is poised to repeat at least one part of the previous feat when he rumbles with Rich Franklin at UFC 148. Franklin, also known for his exciting style and run as a middleweight title-holder, will be making a return to 185 pounds after a short stint at light heavyweight.
The UFC confirmed the bout over the weekend.
Le’s match-up with Silva marked the first time the he had competed in more than a year based on work in the film industry, and though he didn’t come out with his hand raised the match-up was awarded Fight of the Night honors. The 39-year old, who turns 40 a little more than a month before the July 7 bout with Franklin, is 7-2 in his career with seven strike-based stoppages brought on by his unique San Shou background.
The 28-6 Franklin will have served a similar stint on the sidelines to that of Le’s time in Hollywood by the time UFC 148 rolls around. “Ace” has been out since February with a series of injuries and, also similar to his upcoming adversary, could desperately use the victory at this stage in his storied career. Among Franklin’s numerous instances of success at a high-level are wins over Silva, Yushin Okami, Ken Shamrock, and Chuck Liddell.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE