Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” UFC Needs a Classic Fight to End 2012
By Joshua Molina
After a year of turmoil, the UFC has three stacked shows to end 2012, and hopefully start 2013 with some momentum.
After a year of mismatches, drug suspensions and injuries, the UFC needs another classic fight to help spark life in the plateauing brand.
The first show features the UFC’s plunge into China on Saturday, the latest step in its worldwide expansion.
The main event of feature UFC legend Rich Franklin against Cung Le, a San Shou kickboxing fighter and former Strikeforce middleweight champion.
This is a strange fight to make; it’s unclear why these two were chosen to headline the card, other than it really doesn’t matter because the fight is about being in China, not the fighters.
Within that frame, Le has a great opportunity to make a name of himself. Le is kind of the guy who is everywhere but nowwhere. He has starred in Hollywood movies, has fought on Showtime and in the UFC, yet has little mainstream recognition.
Le needs to knock Franklin out in thrilling fashion if he wants to be relevant as more than an ethnic, martial arts novelty act.
He’s capable, but at 40 years old, does he have the stamina and heart to create something special inside the cage?
Le has admitted to injuring his foot in training camp, so his kicks might lack some of their usual punch.
Franklin is still hungry and wants one more title shot. This could be a great fight if Le fights like the hungry killer we know he can be. Fighting cautiously to avoid losing has never been a successful strategy inside the cage.
The UFC will follow that up with the return of Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre vs. Interim Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit.
GSP hasn’t fought since his lackluster performance against Jack Shields 18 months ago, a fight GSP won by unanimous decision.
Condit beat Nick Diaz for the title, but badly wants to defeat GSP to prove he’s not a transitional champion.
GSP is one of the sport’s biggest draws, but no one knows how he will perform after recovering from a serious knee injury and such a long layoff.
The old GSP would be the clear favorite, but no one knows which GSP will show up. The worst thing that could happen to the UFC is for St. Pierre to lose.
The UFC needs big stars, and a loss would hurt the moneymaking potential of a GSP-Anderson Silva fight.
Condit could dramatically change the UFC’s 2013 with an upset win.
Finally, Junior Dos Santos defends his heavyweight crown against Cain Velasquez, live on Fox on Dec. 29.
JDS wants to prove his first victory was no fluke and Velasquez wants revenge.
The public loves heavyweight fights and this will draw a big rating. The last fight lasted 94 seconds, and don’t expect this one to last much longer.
These guys will fight like caged pitbulls. A lot is at stake, not only for the fighters, but for the UFC.
Now more than ever, the UFC needs a classic fight on TV to energize the sport. Velasquez vs. JDS has the most potential to pay off big for the company.