UFC Macao: Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le, Analysis and Predictions
UFC Macao: Franklin vs. Le Analysis and Predictions
UFC Macao – also known as UFC on Fuel TV 6 – will take place next Saturday on November 10. It is headlined by the middleweight bout between Rich Franklin and Cung Lee, and features an impressive array of talent for a free show. The event has been somewhat overshadowed by the major UFC 154 pay-per-view the following weekend, featuring the return of welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre against interim champion Carlos Condit. Nonetheless, the free Franklin vs. Le show will provide a better series of fights than some pay-per-view shows; to say the least, it is well worth watching. The following slides will give you an idea of what to expect from the main card matchups.
Besides the actual fights making up the UFC Macao show, this event is particularly noteworthy simply due to its location. The show marks a major step in the UFC’s attempt to extend its brand to China. UFC Asia Managing Director Mark Fishcher told China Daily,
“Our debut in Greater China is a huge milestone in UFC history and demonstrates the immense popularity and acceptance of the sport on a global stage. This is certainly one of the single biggest sporting events to ever hit the Hong Kong and Macao area and the global attention this event will receive pays tribute to the birthplace of martial arts. We are honored to hold our first event in China at the world-class Cotai Arena in Macao.”
Macao is one of two relatively independent administrative regions of China, along with Hong Kong. It is a very popular tourist area, known for its resorts and gambling opportunities – hence its nickname, the “Oriental Las Vegas.”
Click through to the following slides for analysis of the main card bouts.
Franklin vs. Le (middleweight)
The main event bout between former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin and san shou specialist Cung Le promises to be an extraordinarily exciting fight. Le is known for his incredible arsenal of kicks, including flashy spinning and hooking kicks that seem like they should only work in a movie. However, Le is reportedly dealing with a foot injury in this bout that may diminish his usual speed and power – not to mention his already suspect cardio. Franklin’s seemingly endless gas tank will stand him in good stead in this bout. Although Le may survive until the final bell, he will find himself countered repeatedly by hard shots as Franklin presses the pace harder the longer the fight lasts. Franklin will likely emerge victorious by hard-fought but unanimous judges’ decision.
Silva vs. Nedkov (light heavyweight)
Although Thiago Silva boasts a record of 14-3-1, he has hit a bit of a skid lately, winning only one of his last five fights. Most recently he lost a unanimous decision to Alexander Gustafsson in April. However, his matchup at UFC Macao with Stanislav Nedkov could afford him a chance to get back in the win column. The 12-0 Nedkov’s stock rose significantly after knocking out the highly-regarded Luiz Cane in his UFC debut in August of 2011, but a long layoff since then could be problematic against a buzz saw like Silva. Look for the heavy-handed and wildly aggressive Silva to find a home for his punches on Nedkov’s jaw early, ending the bout via first-round knockout.
Dong Hyun Kim
Kim vs. Thiago (welterweight)
Dong Hyun Kim lost his last fight -- against Demian Maia at UFC 148 last July – in bizarre fashion. As Maia worked for a takedown, Kim severely injured his rib, preventing him from continuing the bout. With a record of 15-2-1, Kim’s only other loss was to Carlos Condit, the current interim champ. Paulo Thiago began his UFC career in style with a stunning first-round knockout of Josh Koscheck. However, he has found mixed results since then, accumulating a 4-4 UFC record and a 14-4 record overall. This bout will likely be one of the more competitive on the card, with no glaring weaknesses from either fighter. It could well result in a split decision, but Kim’s size and reach advantage will give him the edge in what is sure to be an entertaining, back-and-forth bout.
Gomi vs. Danzig (lightweight)
Several years ago, the result of a bout between the once-dominant Takanori Gomi and the solid but unspectacular Mac Danzig might have seemed obvious. However, the 33-8 Gomi has not looked like his formerly unstoppable self for some time. His once-feared striking flurries seem often reduced to telegraphed and easily avoided haymakers, and his takedowns unspectacular at best. Although Gomi still has the power to knock out anyone in his weight class with a single punch, that is an unlikely outcome against the 21-9 Danzig. Danzig’s well-rounded skills, solid ground game and crisp, technical striking will likely be sufficient to earn him the decision victory over a weathered Gomi.