- UFC on Fuel 6
Cung Le delivers crushing KO of Rich Franklin
Cung Le delivered the most memorable moment of his UFC career to date, and possible put a nail in the coffin of Rich Franklin's, by delivering a crushing first-round knockout in the UFC on Fuel 6 main event on Saturday.
As the UFC entered new frontiers by taking an event to Macau, Cung acted as the major draw at the CotaiArena. And the former Strikeforce man did not disappoint, timing a crunching overhand right as Franklin's lights were turned out in emphatic style in the headline battle.
Franklin had spoken about one last run at the UFC middleweight title and even a possible battle with England's Michael Bisping. However, he will be nowhere near either of those scenarios after such a shattering defeat.
Concern had been expressed by those close to the Cung camp in the build-up to the fight, with serious attention being drawn to a foot injury. They need not have worried.
After he blocked some early combinations fired off by Franklin, Cung threw out a few inside-leg kicks before setting up the finish. A kick to middle by Franklin was countered by a hammer overhand right by Cung, instantly poleaxing Franklin for a stunning end to the night's action.
The night's co-main event saw Thiago Silva snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, submitting Stanislav Nedkov at 1.45 of the third round. Nedkov pressed his man against the cage for large parts of the first two rounds, dropping Silva late in the second with a right hand. However, Silva came out aggressive in the third and landed a takedown before advancing to mount, where he secured a head and arm triangle for victory.
In the welterweight division, Dong Hyun Kim turned to his judo and greater size to earn a 30-26 30-27 30-27 decision victory over Paulo Thiago. Kim employed a body lock trip in round one and then a single-leg in round two to make it a ground war, threatening with rear naked and d'arce chokes. There was more of the same in the third, although Kim executed more ground-and-pound as Thiago proved helpless from the bottom.
The UFC debut of Jon Tuck finished in victory as he recorded a unanimous 29-28 30-27 29-28 decision over Tiequan Zhang. Tuck's opening bout on season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter was restricted by a dislocated toe, but he showed enough in his fight with Al Iaquinta during that series to suggest he has a bright future.
Facing Zhang, Tuck quickly showed the slick jiu-jitsu skills he brings to the Octagon, taking his rival's back in both of the opening stanzas in a highly entertaining fight. Using plenty of fakes to create openings Tuck threatened to choke out his foe on more than one occasion, eventually tiring and eating several meaty punches from Zhang in the third.
There was slight controversy as Takanori Gomi beat Mac Danzig via split decision 29-29 28-29 29-28 in the lightweight division. Gomi started sharply, landing leg kicks and the odd body shot, but Danzig fought the smarter fight, landing takedowns in each of the first two rounds. Gomi did rock his foe in the final stanza though and that swayed the judges his way.
In the opening fight of the main card, Takeya Mizugaki delivered something of a battering to Jeff Hougland, leaving his rival bloodied in a one-sided 30-25 30-27 30-27 victory at bantamweight. Hougland's only chance was to take things to the ground against the Japanese, but he was second-best there too, ending up with a sliced open forehead as Mizugaki dished out punishment for 15 minutes.
UFC on Fuel 6 results:
Cung Le bt Rich Franklin via KO at 2.17 of round 1
Thiago Silva bt Stanislav Nedkov via head & arm triangle choke at 1.45 of round 3
Dong Hyun Kim bt Paulo Thiago via unanimous decision (30-26 30-27 30-27)
Takanori Gomi bt Mac Danzig via split decision (29-28 28-29 29-28)
Jon Tuck bt Tiequan Zhang via unanimous decision (29-28 30-27 29-28)
Takeya Mizugaki bt Jeff Hougland via unanimous decision (30-25 30-25 30-27)
Alex Caceres bt Motonobu Tezuka via split decision (29-28 28-29 30-27)
John Lineker bt Yasuhiro Urushitani via unanimous decision (29-28 30-27 29-28)
Riki Fukuda bt Tom DeBlass via unanimous decision (30-27 29-28 29-28)