– Cung Le vs. Wanderlei Silva preview
(posted on gerweck.net)
The H.P. Pavilion will be jam packed to the rafters tonight as Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le will engage in a middleweight slug fest in the co main event of UFC 139. Cung Le’s reputation as an undefeated San Shou fighter had hardcore fans salivating over the prospect of his participation in mixed martial arts. Le made the move to the cage in 2006 and won by knockout in the first round. He won his first six fights and suffered his first defeat via knockout against Scott Smith. That was loss avenged in June of 2010 by dominating Smith with a barrage of body shots. This also marks the last time he has fought as he comes into the fight on Saturday after a 15 month layoff. The time away was due to an expanding list of Hollywood commitments. The 39 year old star will have a large contingent of fans cheering for him on fight night due to the Vietnamese population in San Jose.
While Cung Le is an exciting striker to watch, he his technical prowess is another story. Le’s stand up is good when he is on control but his defense is horrible. He faltered quickly the one time he faced adversity. None of his past seven opponents attempted to take him down when he was lighting them up on the feet. This has left a lot of people scratching their heads. Silva on the other hand, will have no problem taking him down in the event he gets into trouble on the feet with Le. Silva has lost five of his last seven fights and was brutally knocked out in four of them including, his last fight against Chris Leben in July. Silva can no longer take a hard punch and this gives Cung Le his best chance at victory. Normally, Silva shy’s away from taking people down since he loves trade strikes. Silva predominantly throws wide looping punches to the head while Le’s mixes his up. Silva will have the size advantage as Le’s should really be fighting at welterweight.
For Wanderlei Silva, this could very well be his swan song if he is knocked out cold again. The former PRIDE middleweight champion is a landmark figure in the sport and now, he finds himself in a must win situation. Dana White begun planning his retirement the moment his head hit the canvas against Leben. Experience is will be the biggest factor in this encounter. Le is a good but not great. Silva has fought the greatest fighters of all time and that brings something tangible you simply can’t learn in training camp. Even thought I expect the Brazilian to win the bout, you have to ask which version of the ax murderer will show up. Will it be the relentless assassin from the PRIDE days or the moneyweight combatant who wants to “Put on a good show”. If showmanship is his primary objective, he might end up taking Dana up on his offer after tonight.
Prediction: Wanderlei Silva stoppage in the 2nd round