The UFC Middleweight star Cung Le is recovering from elbow surgery, and he turns 41 later this year, but he does not want his name forgotten when the UFC is looking to name an opponent for Middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Le spoke about a potential encounter with the Middleweight champion. earlier this year when scouring the roster for an opponent for Silva, the UFC settled on Chris Weidman, who at 9-0 is viewed by some as not ready for the title shot.
The sportsbooks would say different, as the Silva-Weidman match that headlines UFC 162 in July has Silva as a -240 favorite, with a +200 comeback on Weidman, which is not as wide a spread as is traditional for Silva fights.
But if Weidman does not spoil the party, the UFC is left with the same question for the end of the year – who gets the next Anderson Silva fight? Of course the UFC will push for Silva-St Pierre as a superfight, however St Pierre’s return after a long absence has let the contenders build up at welterweight for his title. Which leaves Silva without a dance partner again.
The UFC would be wise to consider Le as a headliner opposite Silva for another foray into the Chinese market. Le versus Silva would be the UFC’s first truly international transcendental event, like ‘Rumble in the Jungle’. And Le has a big backing among the Asina betting community, which means closer odds on the fight.
And Le does have quality standup, having competed at a high level his entire life. Even as a late arrival to MMA, he has some losses, but he also has some highlight KO’s and broken limbs to his name.
Unlike St Pierre, Silva does not have a huge crop of up and coming talent at 185 lbs hunting him. Hector Lombard, a prized import, fizzled at 1-2 in the UFC. Chael Sonnen is still ranked, however no one will want to see that match again after Jones dispatches Chael. Michale Bisping recently lost his spot in the pecking order, but there is no clear cut top contender for Silva. The Le match is an entertaining and lucrative option in the absence of a true #1 contender.