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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.