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Rich Franklin thinks Cung Le should get more credit for wrestling skills

Though the MMA world’s focus might currently be on a showdown six months down the road, the UFC’s next card takes place in three weeks and marks a momentous occasion for the organization. Scheduled to serve as the company’s first foray into China, UFC on Fuel 6 is set for November 10 where the main event will feature a middleweight meeting between former champion Rich Franklin and explosive striker Cung Le.

Though Le may be best known for a fantastic arsenal of kicks, he was also a successful amateur wrestler, excelling in high school and on a Junior College level. While fans may not give Le credit for his grappling technique, that aspect of his game has not been lost on Franklin who feels his adversary’s underrated wrestling is key to his stand-up success.

“What makes his kicks so effective is the fact that he doesn’t mind throwing them because his wrestling is so good. He may not be much of an offensive wrestler in this fight, but it may be difficult to take him down,” admitted Franklin this week in an interview with Inside MMA. “He’s a good defensive wrestler and that could come into play for him. Because he is able to ward off takedowns and breakaway, that’s where his kicks become very effective…when you start hesitating when you come in on techniques and stuff. He has other aspects of his game that are probably overlooked by the masses (as well).”

Franklin is coming off a June decision over Wanderlei Silva with Le finding similar success against Patrick Cote a month later. Seven of Le’s eight wins have involved some form of strike-based stoppage, while Franklin has shown a knack for finishing foes in his career as well with 25 TKOs/submissions in 29 total victories.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

6 COMMENTS
  • Lord Faust says:

    Rich is likely one of the most cerebral fighters in the UFC, and he makes good points. Cung Le is not a traditional wrestler but Rich hits the mark. Like Chuck, to an extent, Le uses his confidence in his wrestling to complement his stand-up very well.

    I was looking forward to this fight the first time it was announced and that has not changed. I’m a big Franklin fan, so I’m generally happy to see him step into the cage. With Le in there with him, this should be a great fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I am right with you Faust, this looks like a very exciting fight, Rich has the mma experience but Cung has the overall fighting experience, Cung should do very well here if he is in top shape for the fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I like both fighters, Rich maybe a little more, but why has the UFC been so adamant about these two fighting?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    Because, in all honesty, neither will be around for much longer and aren’t overly relevant in the division.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • G-DUB says:

    This is an interesting fight in an intriguing venue … but the outcome is anything but a mystery. I can lay out many scenarios and all but a few have Franklin burying Le. Franklin should do nothing but use his reach advantage, pick Le apart from the outside and wait for him to gas late in the fight to finish the job. Forget about Le’s “defensive wrestling” …. Rich would be foolish to risk getting caught by a kick while going for a takedown.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    Like you say, there’s a lot that could happen. I think we’re going to see a decision winner. I’ll pick Ace in any fight except against Anderson Silva, so I lean towards him. Still, that’s a fanboy call more than anything. I’m really going to have to think long and hard about this fight. IMO, these guys are pretty evenly matched, all things considered.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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