Cung Le and Patrick Cote square off during the UFC 148 press conference at the XS Nightclub in the Encore Hotel on Thursday, July 5, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nev. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
In a Middleweight fight at UFC 148, former Strikeforce champion Cung Le (7-2; 0-1 UFC) looks to get his first UFC win as he faces Patrick Cote (17-7; 4-7 UFC). This is the fourth of six main card fights on the UFC 148 PPV. Neither man is currently ranked in the USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings. The UFC 148 PPV card airs live Saturday night July 7 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
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
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
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.