The UFC made history on Saturday when it brought its first-ever event to the country of China. A mixed show broadcast live on Fuel TV that saw a highly anticipated fight end quickly with one of the most stunning knockouts of the year.
The fight really wasn’t much of a fight at all. The first 90 seconds saw both fighters feeling each other out with Franklin dancing in and out landing strikes. I thought Cung actually looked a lot heavier on his feet than Franklin and that he was toast if this fight went past the first round. Le caught Franklin with a big right to the jaw countering a kick and earning the win at 2:17. Le’s KO also won the UFC Knockout of the Night bonus.
Le called the win “the biggest fight of my life” and referred to the winning strike as a “lucky punch.” “… I came in and waited for him to punch, and I just came in with the overhand right and caught him.”
It has been more than four years since Franklin has been able to put together back to back wins. He’s looked mixed but appeared at times to be in the mix for a third UFC middleweight title fight against Anderson Silva (well at least according to Silva). This was Franklin’s first middleweight fight since defeating Travis Lutter at UFC 82 back in 2008. Franklin has become more or less a utility guy for the UFC, filling in for injured fighters. At 38-years old I think it is fair to say that Franklin is on the downside of a pretty good UFC career.
I don’t know where you go with Le. I have always found Le to be one of the most exciting fighters in MMA, but he has slowed down quite a bit in recent years. I know that is a weird thing to say after he gets a quick KO win but overall it is to be expected at 40-years old. He now has back to back wins for the first time ever in the UFC and the first time since 2008. I can’t imagine the UFC would try and sell a title run here for Le but he is probably due a big fight coming up. Maybe he gets the Boetsch-Weidman loser and a title shot with a win?
Light heavyweight contender and Fuel TV regular Thiago Silva pulled off an impressive upset over undefeated Stanislav Nedkow in the semi-main event. Silva recovered after being dropped by Nedkov in the second round. I was almost sure that Nedkov was seconds away from winning the fight in the third. However, Silva was able to take Nedkov down and get a full mount. Silva finished him with a head and arm choke. It was a much needed win for Silva after suffering a devastating loss to Alexander Gustafsson back in April on Fuel TV. A loss here would have put Silva at 0-3-1 and quite possibly on the bubble. He not only saved his job here but also likely winds up back in the mix of top UFC light heavyweights.
Overall it was a pretty mixed show. I wouldn’t ever call a show with so many decisions good. The final two fights were fun, not great. I think whether you think this was a good show or not comes down to your expectations of the main-event. If you wanted a fast KO, you’re happy. If you wanted a long action-filled fight well then you may be disappointed.
Cung Le defeated Rich Franklin via KO at of 2:17 round 1
Thiago Silva defeated Stanislav Nedkov by submission at 1:45 of round 3
Dong Hyun Kim defeated Paulo Thiago via unanimous decision
Takanori Gomi defeated Mac Danzig by split decision
Jon Tuck defeated Zhang Tiequan via unanimous decision
Takeya Mizugaki defeated Jeff Hougland via unanimous decision
Alex Caceres defeated Motonobu Tezuka by split decision
John Lineker defeated Yasuhiro Urushitani by unanimous decision
Riki Fukuda defeated Tom DeBlass via unanimous decision