November 19, 2011, marked UFC 139 co-event fight between Cung Le versus Wanderlei Silva. The event was hosted at the “Octagon” in San Jose, CA.
A brief background about Cung Le:
Cung Le, 39 year old Vietnamese American middleweight fighter and part-time movie star, focuses on San Shou, a Chinese kickboxing style that incorporates a series of kicks and throws. His strength lies in his devastating “spinning kick”.
Height: 5’11’ (180 cm)
Weight: 185 lbs (84 kg)
Reach: 70 in (27.6 cm)
A brief background about Wanderlei Silva:
Wanderlei Silva, 35 year old Brazilian middleweight fighter who strengths lie in Muay Thai, dirty boxing, and vicious ground and pound work. Silva was once a long term light heavyweight fighter previously, thus putting him at an advantage over Cung Le.
Height: 5’11” (180 cm)
Weight: 185 lbs (84 kg)
Reach: 74 in (29.1 cm)
The challenger, Cung Le enters the Octagon Arena to Jay-Z and Rihanna’s “Run This Town.” The majority of the crowd are fans of Cung Le, waving their Vietnamese American flags. The “Axe Murderer” Silva enters the arena to Darude’s “Sandstorm.”
Round 1: Cung Le comes out focused and strong, throwing a series of punches and kicks, keeping a good distance between him and the “Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva. Silva on the other hand is looking to close in onto Le in order to Thai clinch him. Silva closes in and lands a strong right hook onto Le’s face. Le continues to stay on the outside and then comes in with a spinning back fist onto Silva. The spinning back fist disorients Silva and left him momentarily defenseless against the focused Le. Le then continues to break Silva’s defense by sending him another spinning back fist, causing Silva to be in trouble. Le steps back, watches him from the distance and then sends Silva one of his signature move, a huge 360 degree spinning back kick, onto Silva’s jaw. Le then follows it with 360 wheel kick to the chest, but is countered with a barrage of punches and a strong right counter punch into his right eye—leaving Le’s eye to bleed. Le shakes it off and lands with another spinning kick-back fist combo. Silva steps away and roundhouse kick to Le’s head, aiming at Le’s bleeding eye. Silva then continues with a series of hard punches to the head having Le hurt during the first round.
Round 2: Le re-enters, strong and composed. His right eye has stopped bleeding. Le comes in with a right cross but Silva slips away from the punch. The two reset and Le drives forward with a front leg side kick with his right leg. Le sees an opportunity and continues with another spinning back kick but Silva quickly dodges out of the way. Silva comes in with a kick to the body but Le quickly stuns Silva with a huge right. Le comes in and shatters Silva’s defense with an axe kick, “axe kick to the Axe Murderer” the UFC commentator announces. The crowd cheers as Silva brutally trying to regain composure. Silva comes back with a couple of counter punches to Le.
With a minute left the two middle-weight giants gassed out, with Le losing much steam. Silva turns up the notch and fires with a barrage of punches to Le. Le is now playing on the defense side. A big left jab by Silva, leaving Le stunned and defenseless. With much determination, Le is still on his feet looking for an opening to land. Silva then switches from the inside and rushes through with a huge right hook to Le’s head. Le falls down but quickly gets back up. Silva then comes inside with a guillotine and then takes down Le with three hard-vintage knee to the head. Le drops down. Silva goes in for the takedown with volleys of hammerfist to Le’s head. The referee comes in and unfortunately calls off the fight too early, leaving Silva with a second round knockout victory.
Cung Le storms through with a roundhouse kick to Silva during the second round.
Cung Le Post-Fight
After having his nose broken from the fight, it’s amazing to see how nicely Le’s nose was recovering within hours. “Here is a picture of my face you wanted to see. I felt great till I got caught,” Le tweeted to his fans after hours after the fight.
Personally, I think the fight was called off a bit too prematurely. Le could’ve played on the defensive side until the end of the second round. This way he can come back on the third round with a new set of strategies. In any case, great fight Cung Le! Your fans and friends are out here looking forward to see you win in the next fight!
Cung Le pre-fight interview from September.