A good number of fans are expecting Rich Franklin to cruise through Cung Le tomorrow at UFC on Fuel 6 based on the former UFC champion’s experience, past success, and overall skill-set. Throw in Le’s bum foot and it may even seem like a certainty that Franklin will emerge from the bout with his hand raised.
However, “Ace” isn’t overlooking his adversary despite having a number of advantages on paper. The 38-year old shared some of his strategy entering the affair and made it clear his respect for Le goes much deeper than the San Shou expert’s entertaining arsenal of kicks.
“He’s very tricky. He’s traditional in his techniques but it’s very unorthodox for MMA. He spins a lot, he does different things off of his spins. Sometimes you don’t know if a kick – a lowkick, a high kick – a spinning backfist is coming. And you can get caught up in defense, drop your hands, and get caught with something else,” explained Franklin to Fuel TV after weighing in this morning. “I think that with Cung, the key to winning the fight is a lot about pattern recognition and not just sitting there, letting him to tee off on those kinds of things. His stuff is not just pretty; there’s power in his kicks.”
“He’s a very athletic guy and he’s got some aspects of his game that are underrated,” continued Franklin, giving Le credit for a craft a number of strike-centric competitors lack. “He’s an accomplished wrestler and does a great job with takedowns…I’ve got a lot of things to worry about in this fight.”
Franklin will be looking to build off his June win over Wanderlei Silva come showtime. Viewers wanting to watch things unfold live will have to be up bright and early with UFC on Fuel 6 prelims starting at 7:15 AM EST on Facebook and the main card airing on Fuel TV at 9:00 AM EST.
Check out the complete interview with Franklin below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC