"Cung is a different kind of fighter. He's real unorthodox and throws different kinds of kicks from different angles. It will be a whole different look compared to a traditional kickboxer or boxer. A lot of times when you're fighting guys like that they throw those types of things they're not supposed to throw at the times they're not supposed to throw them. For this camp it's really important to have a training partner who mimics his style really well. I would have to put two or three wins together before they would consider giving me a title shot. I got Cung in the meantime and this is a really good way to step back in to the 185-pound division. It's a good return fight for me because he's coming off a bit of a layoff himself. On top of that he was the Strikeforce Middleweight Champion and he's someone who brings some credentials to the table. A win here would place me well back in to the 185-pound mix of things."
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Rich Franklin has been on the shelf for over 15 months following shoulder surgery to repair his torn labrum. In his last outing at UFC 126 in Feb. 2011, Franklin came up short in a unanimous decision loss to former Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin in a 205-pound affair. Dropping back down to 185 pounds, the weight class he has called home for the majority of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, "Ace" will not have an easy task in his return to the Octagon, where he's penciled in to face former kickboxer turned MMA star, Cung Le, at UFC 148 on July 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Le made an unsuccessful UFC debut against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 139 last November, falling to the powerful strikes of "The Axe Murderer" in the second round and getting his nose rearranged in the process. Both Franklin and Cung are looking to avoid dropping two fights in a row for the first time in each of their respective MMA careers. A win will give them a much-needed injection of life if they hope to make a run at the gold before they decide to hang up their gloves. Franklin tells BJPenn.com that a win over the kicking machine Le, will get him back into the mix at 185 pounds. But who will be the victor when the dust settles in "Sin City?" The hard-kicking San Shou specialist Le? Or the tough as nails company man, Franklin?