The latest former Strikeforce champ to join the UFC’s roster in recent months is none other than scintillating striker Cung Le who formerly held the promotion’s middleweight title before vacating it due to a blossoming film career.
Le will bring his creative kicks and San Shou style to the Octagon starting November 19 at UFC 139 in a bout against heavy-handed Brazilian Vitor Belfort. Also worth mentioning, the headlining match-up will take place in Le’s hometown of San Jose where he is immensely popular.
Though 7-1, Le hasn’t fought since he knocked Scott Smith out with a perfectly placed kick to the body more than a year ago. However, as rare as his in-ring appearances have been, the sight was a familiar one to fans of the Californian who has won all seven of his scraps via strike-based stoppage with all featuring the stand-up arsenal he’s become known for.
Dealing with the 39-year old’s unique attack will be 20-9 Belfort, winner in six of his last seven fights with the only exception being a defeat to pound-for-pound great Anderson Silva earlier this year. “The Phenom” most recently took to the cage in August at UFC 133 where he pounded Yoshihiro Akiyama into oblivion less than two minutes in.
UFC 139 will also feature a bantamweight battle between former WEC champions Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles as well as Rick Story’s attempt to get back on the winning track with well-rounded competitor Martin Kampmann standing in his way.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE
MMATraining Take: It’s unfortunate to see Strikeforce lose another one of their premier talents abandon the organization for the UFC but not hard to understand. Le doesn’t have a lot of fights left in his career, nor the need to keep putting his health at risk in the ring, so it makes sense to utilize him as they have by putting him on a San Jose card as the main event. As far as the actual bout goes I have no reason to think it won’t be entertaining. I just hope Le gets to throw some kicks before Belfort puts him to sleep with a stiff shot.