Macao gets Better with Time (UFC on Fuel TV 6 Review)

The UFC entered another domain this weekend as they held their first ever fight in China as they highlighted the talent from the continent. The Main event would be a matchup of an Action Movie star and a former High School English Teacher in the middleweight division. As Cung Le and Rich Franklin stepped into the octagon it was a clear reminder of how far the UFC had come. Not only were they in yet another country this year as they continue their plan to expand to every corner of the earth but also about who was fighting. In the beginning of the UFC fights were held in what seemed like underground clubs. It wasn’t exactly underground clubs as the UFC would start out in smaller arenas, civic centres, and the odd concert venue. Still the UFC had that look and that feel to them as they seemed like a guilty pleasure to some. They were very much based in the underground of the sports world and their fighters reflected this. They were weekend warriors who would go to their day jobs and simply go to a UFC at night and fight. There were no weight classes and almost no rules in the beginning with an anything goes attitude. Then Dana White and the Fertitta brothers came in to purchase and run the UFC. They saw potential in the franchise and immediately began making changes. Inputting more rules and running towards government regulation the UFC began to gain some legitimacy. What followed would the evolution of the fighter from someone who just wanted to fight to someone who lived to fight. The fighters became professionals as they began to train months in advance and began to become specialists. Then when the UFC gained more legitimacy fighting became more of an option for anyone. Instead of people who had trained in a specific style coming in and learning new styles fighters came in with limited knowledge and trained everything. It became a legitimate option for athletes who wanted a challenge and found it in the training of Mixed Martial Arts. Two for these people were Cung Le and Rich Franklin as both saw it as a chance to follow dreams. Cung Le was a martial artist who had nowhere to go to use his ability and decided to take his training to movies. Then he found MMA and began fighting using his ability to shoot up the rankings and make it into the UFC. Meanwhile Rich Franklin spent his days teaching English after years of being a good athlete throughout high school and university. He saw MMA as a chance to continue to be active and eventually would end up as the middleweight champion in the UFC. Both fighters represent the era of fighters who are doing it because they wanted to be a fighter and not because they want to fight. As they entered the octagon in Macao both were looking to continue their journey as Franklin was looking to notch another win and possibly try one more run up the middleweight division. Le was looking to make one last run as well at 40 years old as he was looking for a win to continue his climb up the middleweight ladder in what will likely be his last few years in the sport. The fight would start as many thought as both fighters were glad to stay standing and trading rather than fighting on the ground. Then Franklin loaded a big shot up but could not get it off in time before Cung Le hit him with a hard right hook. It would send Franklin to the mat immediately and would give Cung Le the win. With the loss Franklin will go back to his training and decide whether he wants to make another stab at the title or if he will call it a career. Meanwhile Le earned his second win in a row and put a big name on his record meaning he will continue to move up the ladder. Le will step up in competition as he hopes to start a legitimate run and he will likely become a featured fighter through 2013.

It was the second fight in Asia for the UFC and another chance to feature some of the top Asian fighters on the roster. One of the main attractions would be the only Chinese fighter in the UFC in Tiequan Zhang who would take on Jon Tuck. Zhang did not perform very well in front of his home crowd as he was out wrestled by the UFC newcomer. Zhang would lose his fight, one of only three Asian fighters to lose on the night. It was not the only loss but it was a big one for the home crowd who were hoping to see a countryman win in front of a home crowd. Still there were plenty of other fighters from the continent on the card and overall the showing was not bad. These fighters had a 4-3 record on the night which is much better than usual as they have had many problems putting together wins. One thing was for sure throughout the card though is that these fighters do not seem to be the exciting fighters than many fans love. The Asian fighters on the card that did win did it all in unanimous or split decisions and were not very exciting. Dong Hyun Kim and Cung Le were the only fighters that had great performances and represented the exciting fighters in the continent. The rest of the fighters that won were good but not good enough to impress anyone. It was not the best fight card and the Asian fighters did little to impress anyone. They did still win though meaning that many will get another chance to make an impression on fans and another chance to start the long road to becoming the first Asian champion in the UFC. The fight card overall was not great but the last three fights changed everything making this card a decent one and a good way to break in to China as a regular spot.

The Bonuses were handed out for the best performances as everyone involved got $40,000 for their efforts. It was looking like there would be no bonuses handed out in the beginning of the day as there were no impressive fights including no knockouts or submissions. The last three fights would save it though as they featured everything needed to hand out all three bonuses. The “Fight of the Night” would go to the third last fight as Dong Hyun Kim and Mac Danzig would put on a great fight that would end in a split decision win for Kim. The second last fight would give Dana the submission he needed as Thiago Silva would earn the “Submission of the Night” for his 3rd round Arm Triangle win over Stanislav Nedkov. The main event would feature the knockout that was needed as Cung Le would earn the “Knockout of the Night” for his devastating right hook KO of Rich Franklin. The fight card was not overly impressive but with the last three fights providing most of the action the card was saved from becoming a footnote in a big month.


Fight Results:

Main Event:
Cung Le def. Rich “Ace” Franklin
(KO; Rd. 1)


Main Card:
Thiago Silva def. Stanislav Nedkov
(Submission; Arm Triangle, Rd. 3)


Dong Hyun “Stung Gun” Kim def. Paulo Thiago
(Unanimous Decision)


“The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi def. Mac Danzig
(Split Decision)


Jon “The Super Saiyan” Tuck def. Tiequan “The Wolf” Zhang
(Unanimous Decision)


Takeya Mizugaki def. Jeff “Hellbound” Hougland
(Unanimous Decision)


Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres def. Motonobu Tezuka
(Split Decision)


John “Hands of Stone” Lineker def. Yasuhiro Urushitani
(Unanimous Decision)


Ricki Fokuda def. Tom Deblass
(Unanimous Decision)


Upcoming Events 

UFC 154: St. Pierre vs. Condit (Saturday November 17th; 10:00 pm EST)
– Montreal, Quebec (Bell Centre)
Main Event: Georges “Rush” St. Pierre vs. Carlos “Natural Born Killer” Condit [Welterweight Title]
Notable: Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann vs. Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks
Notable: Francis “Limitless” Carmont vs. Tom “Filthy” Lawlor


UFC on Fox 3: Henderson vs. Diaz (Saturday December 8th; 8:00 pm EST)
– Free Live on Fox/Sportsnet
– Seattle, Washington (Key Arena)
Main Event: Benson “Smooth” Henderson vs. Nate Diaz [Lightweight Title]
Notable: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson


UFC on FX 7: Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson (Friday December 14th; 9:00 pm EST)
– Free Live on FX/Sportsnet
– Gold Coast, Queensland (Gold Coast Convention Centre)
Main Event: George Sotiropoulos vs. Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson
Notable: Hector Lombard vs. Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares

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