Now here is a fight I’m looking forward to! November 19th’s UFC 139 will feature a middleweight bout between Cung Le and Vitor Belfort. This is a solid bout between two world class athletes. Vitor has looked focused these days, except for that creaming he took by Anderson Silva. I think in this one Cung Le is in big trouble, but it isn’t a match without it’s intrigue.
Cung Le is an interesting, marketable athlete. He has always fought with a lot of hype, especially among the Vietnamese community where there have always been a ton of rumors about heavy gambling interests that back him.
But he really hasn’t fought enough. He is nearly 40 years old at this point, and his much talked about San Shou resume is basically about 15 documented fights. On top of that, his MMA record is 7-1. His best win is over Frank Shamrock, but that is another athlete that has spent too much time pursuing other activities.
Cung Le has been pursuing a movie career, so as I mentioned this marks his return to the ring.
It is funny, because for a long time Belfort was a guy that did not seem focused on his MMA career. Back at the first UFC Brazil, where Belfort faced Vanderlei Silva he pulled off a big win, but it wasn’t without controversy. Belfort took off before the event, checked into another hotel and asked for more money, because in his own words ‘I have more to lose than Vanderlei’.
Well now it is the other way around, Belfort seems focused on his MMA career as it enters it’s later stages, and Le is returning after a long layoff, where he tasted some fame in films and on TV in Vietnam.
And it’s a bad matchup even for a focused Cung Le. Belfort retains his explosive speed and power, especially in the opening minutes of a match, while Le has always seemed methodical in his approach.
I’m looking for an explosive performance out of Belfort in this one, almost certainly a first round KO.
Le has take downs with his San Shou and wrestling backgrounds, but his style of setting them up will likely not work on an athlete like Belfort. On the ground he may get submitted quickly as well.
Easy fight for Vitor Belfort in my book.