Rich Franklin returns at UFC 148 against Cung Le

UFC officials have announced a middleweight battle between Rich Franklin and Cung Le at UFC 148. The event is scheduled for July 7 from Las Vegas and expected to feature bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz clashing with rival Urijah Faber in the main event. The two are currently coaching opposite one another on the Ultimate Fighter 15.

Franklin has been out of action since early in 2011 when he was defeated by Forrest Griffin in a battle of ex-champions. “Ace” was expected to meet Antonio Rogerio Nogueira later in the year but shoulder surgery knocked him from the bout and has kept him out since. The fight will mark Franklin’s return to middleweight after a stint at 205 pounds.

Le, a former Strikeforce champion, made his UFC debut last November at UFC 139. However, while the fight featured many of the scintillating strikes the San Shou master is known for, ultimately things did not go as planned as Wanderlei Silva broke his nose and ended things via TKO in the second round of the scrap.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

12 COMMENTS
  • Rece Rock says:

    should be a pretty good fight… probably more of the same from Le… good start then things will fall apart for him.

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    interesting to see Rich back at 185, i prefer to see him there to be honest. more winable fights for him, tho not as many super fights to rack up the $$$

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Looks like Rich is going back to 185 to play dream-crusher. I think this will be an exciting fight, but I see Rich winning this.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    I thought Rich said he was done with 185? Oh well I hope Rich wins, I lost a lot of respect from Le after all that strikeforce belt stuff.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Le by ko for sure.

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  • G-DUB says:

    Le by KO??? What scenario plays out in which Le picks up a win?? No chance …. Rich comes in with a good gameplan and systematically breaks Le’s will … and let’s face it, Le doesn’t have much will to spare. Fight was made to get Rich back in the win column. Barring divine intervention, that’s how this fight plays out.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Rich is coming in from a extended lay off, cutting weight aging, and Le will be primed to make up for the last loss, and Le has the kicks to stop anybody.

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  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Cung Le is severely overrated. Franklin is a tough veteran and should be able to handle anything Lee has to offer.

    Le needs to go back to generic Kung Fu movies and being an overrated stunt man.

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  • MCM says:

    I understand why Rich left the MW division, but I’m awfully glad he’s back. Rich vs. Bisping, Sonnen, Palhares, Belcher even Marquardt if he comes back to 185 or Lombard if he comes over would be great fights.
    Rich may have traded wins and loses at LHW, but a lot of people thought he won the Hendo fight and, IMO, would beat Vitor as long as he plays by the rules. Not bad for a natural 185er.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    It is probably accurate to say that Cung Le is overrated, but that doesn’t seem quite fair either.

    Le is a highly, highly skilled fighter but he’s another one of those guys who was born about 10 years too early, as far as MMA is concerned. By the time he debuted in MMA he was almost 35 and increasingly involved in acting/movies. Had the UFC broken thru to the mainstream sooner, chances are Cung would have remained solely focused on fighting, instead of figuring out a way to land a gig on Walker Texas Ranger, and could have made some noise in the sport before age caught up with him.

    So yeah, Franklin should win this. But I wouldn’t mind if this was a farewell bout for both guys. Rich probably has more left in the tank, but nothing to really further the legacy he already established & don’t wish to see him go out on a losing note.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Personally, I see Le’s biggest limitation being his gas tank. The only reason he lost to Scott Smith was by punching himself out, and Wanderlei very well could have lost their fight if Le didn’t tire after a great opening round.

    I think this is going to be an exciting fight, but I am leaning towards Rich as the heavy favourite mostly because you can’t question his fitness, and he’s a smart fighter. Regardless, I will enjoy watching these two guys scrap.

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  • Creature says:

    Ive been wanting Rich back at 185 since his loss to Griffin so im glad to see it, id love to see him matched up with Bisping or Belcher.. as long as he gets the W here (which he should) maybe if Sonnen beats Silva this time around, Silva will retire or change divisions and with Silva out i dont find it all too hard to believe Rich has a good chance at once again being 185 Champ…

    But then again im a huge fan of “Ace” ;)

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