“So what’s this thing worth?”
No, really. For cereal. Apparently. Vitor Belfort (20-9) announced on his website that he will be murdering fighting former Strikeforce paper middleweight champ Cung Le (7-1) at UFC 139 in November, and Le’s website has since confirmed it.
Sweet Christ, this will not end well for Le. Sure he used to be the Strikeforce champion, but at a time when that didn’t mean shit. He took the title from Frank Shamrock in 2008 (who won the vacant belt by beating Phil fucking Baroni), and eventually vacated it a year and a half later without defending it. When he finally returned at the end of 2009, it took him two tries to beat Scott Smith, who was never that good to begin with, hasn’t won since, and can now only be described as circling the drain. By November it’ll have been 17 months since Le’s last fight, and he’ll have had only 3 fights in the last 3.5 years. Oh yeah, plus he’s 39 years old.
Just to shit on Le a little more, let’s have a good look at his 7-1 record. Besides Smith and Shammy, his other five MMA victories were:
- Sammy Morgan – Nov. 2007 – was 19-8, lost 3 more in a row after Le, hasn’t fought since 2008.
- Tony Fryklund – June 2007 – was 14-8 and on a 2-fight losing streak, hasn’t fought since.
- Jason Von Flue – Dec. 2006 – was 12-6-1, lost 5 of 7 since, hasn’t fought since 2009.
- Brian Warren – June 2006 – was 9-6, lost 4 more in a row after Le, now 14-15-1.
- Mike Altman – Mar. 2006 – was 1-2, lost next fight, hasn’t fought since.
So to summarize, Frank Shamrock is the best name on his record, five of his opponents have since retired and the other two ought to. To call Le an over-hyped paper champ is putting it mildly. But I’m sure that won’t stop Zuffa from promoting him as “THE FORMER STRIKEFORCE CHAMPION!” for this one.
One of the reasons why Strikeforce made a big deal about Le in the first place is because he fought for them way back when they were a kickboxing promotion, and apparently Le’s 17-0 Sanshou record is impressive enough to Belfort that he’s training with K-1 kickboxing star Ray Sefo, though he may have done so regardless of his opponent. I have to presume that Belfort’s striking is already plenty good enough to deal with the likes of Le, so he’s probably just crossing his T’s and dotting his lower-case J’s. And frankly, I can’t imagine why the UFC would even consider bringing Le over from Strikeforce. He’s not even relevant over there anymore, and doesn’t stand a fucking chance with the big boys in the UFC, much less one of the top contenders.
I rarely make fight predictions since I’m so often wrong, but allow me to be the first to call yet another first-round knockout for the The Phenom, and then yet another long hiatus/retirement for Le.
Props to CagePotato for the find.