Le Accepts Shot at Silva
It wasn't much of a surprise when Ed Soares, manager of Anderson Silva, expressed his disinterest in a potential fight with middleweight contender Chris Weidman. Soares cited Weidman's lack of credibility and fame as the reason for why he feels "The Spider" would have nothing to gain from the victory, and many fans would have to agree that Weidman is yet to attain the praise and recognition that would make him worthy of Anderson's time.
What was a surprise, however, was the first name that popped into Soares' head when he was asked who, judging by the aforementioned qualifications, would be a more appropriate challenge for Silva. That name was former Strikeforce champion Cung Le, who Soares believes has the momentum and high-profile name that are necessary for anyone who should find himself in the octagon with the greatest fighter of all time.
Le was just as shocked by Soares' response as we were, but how could anyone turn down the opportunity to earn the biggest win of UFC history by dethroning the legendary middleweight king? In a recent interview with "The MMA Hour," Le explained how utterly random yet exciting it was to hear that Anderson Silva would be more inclined to fight a 40 year-old with just three fights in the UFC instead of Weidman, an athletic powerhouse who is quite possibly the best wrestler in the division.
"I was definitely surprised by it. I'm honored by it. If the UFC wants the fight, then, you know, after our discussion, I am totally open for it. I wouldn't be ready for him tomorrow or next couple of weeks, but if I have the proper amount of time to train and get in the right mind set, then let's do it. I didn't do any campaigning. My name got thrown in the mix and I'm honored, so whatever happens from here is going to be up to Anderson and up to the UFC. For me, I open to it and I'm excited to hear that my name is in the mix."
Despite riding a two fight win streak and knocking out Rich Franklin with one punch last November, Cung Le will not be viewed as a legitimate threat until he defeats a more relevant fighter, like say, Chris Weidman?
Le is undoubtedly well-known and fun to watch. But if Silva chooses him over Weidman solely because of those two characteristics, it's safe to say that he is risking a loss of respect from the UFC and the rest of the division in return. Still, we should observe how this situation effects Le's next performance. We may very well see a much hungrier and determined Cung Le now that he knows a shot at the middleweight championship is within his grasp if he stays solid and picks up another big win.