As quick as MMA fans got their dream fight it was taken away from them. The Cung Le vs. Vitor Belfort UFC 139 fight is off. Belfort is hurt and out of the fight. Cung Le will still fight but instead goes one on one with the Axe Murderer Wanderlei Silva at UFC 139.
The UFC has been bitten quite a bit this year by the injury bug. Unfortunately in most scenarios, the UFC fans wind up suffering with a replacement fight that is less interesting. In this case, those same fans will be rewarded with a fight that has the potential to be a late candidate for Fight of the Year.
[adinserter block=”2″]Dana White announced the news today on Twitter with this simple tweet.
“Vitor is injured and out of San Jose fight. Now Cung Le will fight Wandy!”
This is the kind of a fight that should air on the UFC on Fox special. You have two guys that are stand up fighters with very little chance of going to the ground. There is almost zero chance that this fight will be boring. Both of these guys get the entertainment part of the show and will likely be looking to go out there at UFC 139 and slug it out until there is one man left standing.
Le has been given a big break here. While he certainly had a shot of catching Belfort with a kick to the head, chances are that he would have been greatly outmatched due to the size difference. Here, he fights a guy that is more his size and gets a fighter on the downside of his career as opposed to Belfort who looks reborn in the UFC.
The fight change is a bit ironic because this makes two fights in a row now that Wanderlei has replaced Vitor. I am not sure whether it was announced or not, but Belfort was supposed to fight Wanderlei back at UFC 132. Silva and Leben both pushed Dana White to change the fight and make the fight against each other which the president eventually acquiesced .
Wanderlei is coming off a devastating loss at the hands of Chris Leben. Wanderlei was knocked out in less than 30 seconds at UFC 132. Silva promised a stand up war and he delivered. Unfortunately he got caught quickly and it was lights out. UFC president Dana White questioned whether he would book Silva again after the fight, fearing that Silva couldn’t compete an elite level anymore. Something must have changed his mind as the Axe Murderer is back!
[adinserter block=”1″]I am stoked to see this one. Cung Le has everything to gain and nothing to lose. In my opinion he is coming in as something more of a featured attraction rather than a guy that is expected to challenge Anderson Silva in the future. For Wanderlei, it is all or nothing as he could be fighting for his UFC life in this one. Another knockout would likely mean the end of the road for Silva in the UFC.
UFC 139 is really turning into an odd card. It looks like more of a tribute to Strikeforce, Pride FC, and WEC rather than a UFC event. Silva now joins former Pride FC alumni Shogun Rua and Dan Henderson, who will be fighting one another in the main-event.
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