Originally, this was planned to be Cung Le vs. Rich Franklin. However, when Vitor Belfort went down to injury, Franklin was bumped up to main event duties at UFC 147 and Cote was brought in. That's a pretty significant change, and one that seriously favors Le, as Cote is a definite notch or two down the ladder from Franklin. Expect this to be a striking battle with Cote's powerful hands vs. Le's Sanshou kicks.
How do these two stack up?
Le: 40 years old | 5'10" | 69" reach Cote: 32 years old | 5'11" | 75" reach
Cung Le was already an established Sanshou fighter when he made the transition to MMA in 2006. A hugely popular fighter in San Jose, Le was one of the big names of early Strikeforce shows, putting together an impressive 6-0 record that included winning the Strikeforce Middleweight title from Frank Shamrock in 2008. But since that win he's been more focused on a movie career, and has only fought three times in the last 4 years. He's still an exciting fighter, thanks largely to his unique Sanshou kicks, but MMA seems more like a side project for him at this point, and at 40 years old, I'm not sure how much longer he'll stay at it.
Patrick "The Predator" Cote has been in and out of the UFC Middleweight division since 2004, and had a shot at Anderson Silva and the UFC Middleweight title back in 2008. He's struggled in the UFC, as his 4-7 record with the company shows, but interestingly, he's never lost a fight outside the Octagon. This is his first UFC fight since losing to Tom Lawlor in 2010. He's currently on a 4 fight win streak, with 3 of those wins coming against UFC veterans.
Why should you care?
This fight is not really relevant, but I love watching Cung Le fight. He's got a great style all his own, and he's such a master at it that it's a pleasure to watch, win or lose.
More UFC 148 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.
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