The UFC 139 event will feature a middleweight fight between former champions Wanderlei Silva and Cung Le. It’s a very important fight for those fans of old as Wanderlei Silva could be looking at his last time in the cage if he loses on Saturday night. This will be the UFC debut of Cung Le, who has been on out action for over a year while making movies. Let’s see how this one shakes out.
Cung Le comes into this fight with a career record of (7-1) with all seven wins coming via TKO/KO. Le has been out of action since avenging his only loss to UFC veteran Scott Smith in June 2010. He stopped Smith with a spinning kick to the body, but has been on the sidelines making movies prior to this fight with Wanderlei Silva. Le has an array of strikes standing with good power to boot. He’s known for his assortment of spinning kicks from his kickboxing background. If there’s a weakness for Le it is his inexperience on the ground, but he does have solid takedown defense for a guy approaching 40 years old.
Wanderlei Silva comes into this fight with a career record of (33-11-1) with 23 wins via TKO/KO and three via submission. Silva was last seen in action getting knocked out by Chris Leben in the very first round a few months ago. Silva is a well rounded fighter but loves to brawl it out with reckless abandon, a style that has caught up with him over the years. Silva has become increasingly knockout prone, but does still possess KO power of his own. He has the advantage on the ground if he wanted to take the fight there, but Silva will probably brawl it out as he’s not the best implementer of gameplans.
Bet on Fighting has Cung Le as the betting favorite at (-150) and Silva as the underdog at (+120).
It’s absolutely crazy to think that Silva is the underdog to a fighter approaching 40 years old that hasn’t fought in well over a year. However, stylistically this fight favors Le because Silva will want to brawl it out more than likely. Le has the speed advantage and is a more technical striker than Silva which doesn’t bode well for the aging PRIDE veteran. However, it’ll be interesting to see what type of shape Le is in if the fight happens to go past the first round. The long layoff could potentially be detrimental cardio wise, and it could prove difficult for him to find his timing with striking.
I would certainly be surprised to see Silva try to take this fight to the ground, but that’s what he should do if he wants to increase his chances of winning this fight. He’s well versed in jiu-jitsu and could do damage from the top position on the inexperienced Le. He would also negate Le’s biggest advantage which is his kicks and strikes from the standing position. However, knowing Silva he’ll want to go out on his shield and fight to please the fans and provide the exciting fight that he’s known for. Le will look to keep this fight standing and strike from a distance using his assortment of kicks. He does not want to allow Silva to close the distance and swarm with wild left and right hooks. Silva is still capable of knocking out the older Le, but I think Silva’s chin will fail him before he’s able to land anything significant to put Le away. Sadly, this could potentially be the last fight for Silva in a historic career.