provided MMA fans with one of the year’s cleanest knockouts in the
Fuel TV 6
headliner on Saturday, putting former middleweight
to sleep with a perfectly-timed counter right hook to
wrap the promotion’s inaugural event on Chinese soil.
The 185-pound main event took place at Cotai Arena in Macau, with
both southpaws taking their time in establishing the striking
range. Le ended the bout in the blink of an eye, timing his
accurate counter punch just a moment after absorbing a low kick
Franklin tried to throw a punch of his own, but it was too late.
Le’s haymaker crashed into Franklin’s jaw, instantly turning out
his lights and sending him face-first to the canvas at 2:17 of the
first round. Though the crisp counter earned Le “Knockout of the
Night” honors, the former Strikeforce king was modest when asked
about the fight-ending blow.
“I feel like I’m in a dream right now,” Le told Fox Spots following
his first-round knockout of Franklin. “That was a money punch. I
just saw him timing my kicks, so I waited for him to punch, and I
threw that overhand right. I got lucky and caught him.”
After Franklin fell, Le began to celebrate wildly, performing a
backflip before scaling the cage wall and hoisting his hands high
as the crowd cheered the finish.
“It’s funny, when I hit him, I felt a little jolt in my elbow, but
it was just all adrenaline,” Le said of the finishing sequence. “I
don’t remember what happened. I was just so happy that all the
blood went to my head, and I got a little dizzy.”
Le has now won consecutive fights for the first time in over four
years. The middleweight’s last appearance came against onetime UFC
title challenger Patrick Cote
in July. Though the veteran sanshou stylist walked away from that
UFC 148 clash with a unanimous decision win, he also took home a
badly bruised foot, an injury that Le says has still not fully
With Saturday’s triumph now behind him, the 40-year-old plans to
take some time away from the cage to allow his body to recuperate.
While Le knows time may be running short on his competitive fight
career, he hopes to make the most of the time he has remaining as a
member of the UFC roster.
“I love to do martial arts. I love to compete,” said Le. “If I can
do it as long as I live, I will, but I know my clock is ticking.”
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