UFC Macao Franklin vs. Le: Wrestling Observer Picks and Preview



By Josh Nason

UFC Macau


Rise and shine, MMA campers! In less than 12 hours time, UFC will make their debut in China in the thriving metropolis of Macau (aka Macao). Did you know it's one of two special administrative regions of China, along with Hong Kong? It's also a former Portuguese colony which is kinda coincidental considering the UFC's large Brazilian fanbase.

If you're up at 7 AM Saturday Eastern and have Fuel TV, chances are you (or your DVR) will be watching as will our Dave Meltzer who is rising at 4 AM Pacific to check out the show. Now that is dedication, people.

Our panel:


- Dave Meltzer (86-40): Wrestling Observer founder & writer

- Todd Martin (81-45): Weekly FFD guest & RAW recapper | LA Times | Sherdog

- Mike Sempervive (79-47): Wrestling Observer Live | Big Audio Nightmare

- Mike Sawyer (78-48) of Tough Talk

- Josh Nason (75-47):
FFD guest | FIGHT! Magazine | Bloody Elbow

- Oliver Copp (77-43) of Tough Talk

*****

Rich Franklin (29-6-0-1) vs. Cung Le (8-2)

The 38-year-old Franklin continues his run toward….something with a fight against the 40-year-old Le. He was last seen beating Wanderlei Silva via unanimous decision in June, but is surprisingly just 3-3 in his last six. Le decisioned Patrick Cote in July after losing via 2nd round TKO to the aforementioned Silva in his Octagon debut. What shape will Le be in after his recent bloodletting out of his foot?

Franklin: Martin, Copp, Sawyer, Sempervive, Meltzer, Nason

'Stun Gun' Kim (15-2-1-1) vs. Paulo Thiago (14-4)

The 30-year-old Kim was last seen in a bizarre situation: losing to Demian Maia in just 47 seconds after collapsing in pain and clutching his side. It turned out to be a muscle spasm, but it still was a loss: his second in three fights after a 16-fight unbeaten streak. He faces veteran Thiago, a loser in three of his last four -- the most recent a 42 second KO to the debuting Siyar Bahadurzada.

Kim: Martin, Copp, Sawyer, Sempervive, Nason, Meltzer

Mac Danzig (21-9-1) vs. Takanori Gomi (33-8-0-1)


Gomi continues the march toward the end of his career, snapping a two-fight losing streak with a second round TKO of Eiji Mitsuoka in February. He looks to even his UFC record at 3-3 against Danzig, the TUF 6 winner who is 5-5 in his Octagon career. He is coming off a win over Efrain Escudero in April after two bonus earning performances in a win over Joe Stevenson and a loss to Matt Wiman.

Danzig: Martin, Copp, Sawyer, Nason
Gomi: Sempervive, Meltzer

Stanislav Nedkov (12-0) vs. Thiago Silva (14-3-0-1)

After a 13-0 run to start his carer, Silva is just 1-3-1 since then and has been blasting American Top Team for "wasting" his past three years. He faces the undefeated Nedkov who made his UFC debut in taking apart Luiz Cane by first round TKO in August. He's a finisher with 10 stoppages in 12 fights.

Nedkov: Copp, Nason
Silva: Martin, Sawyer, Sempervive, Meltzer

Alex Caceres (7-5) vs. Montobu Tezuka (19-4-4)

The man know as Bruce Leroy looks to build upon his July Submission Of The Night over Damacio Page against Pancrase veteran Tezuka, making his UFC debut on a three fight win streak.

Caceres: Martin, Copp, Sawyer, Sempervive, Nason, Meltzer