Almost three years ago StrikeForce held its first Zuffa owned card. When the event was over announcers Mauro Ranallo and Frank Shamrock were talking about the endless superfight possibilities. One of them was Anderson Silva versus Cung Le. The MMA world laughed in unison at the outrageous suggestion. Yet, we’re at a point where this is the fight that needs to be made if Silva returns to fighting. There are multiple reasons why the fight needs to be booked but the most prominent three are the stylistic matchup, Silva’s motivation, and the amount of attention the fight would receive.
A Striking Matchup for the Ages
Anderson Silva and Cung Le are two of the best pure strikers in all of mixed martial arts and a bout between the two would be amazing to watch. When Silva enters the cage, every MMA fan knows that something insane is going to go down. Look no further than his 2009 bout with Forrest Griffin for proof. Silva made Griffin look foolish with slick head movement and tight boxing. Whenever Griffin would throw a combo Silva was already a step ahead and made sure the former UFC Light-Heavyweight champion couldn’t lay a finger on him with his great head movement. When Griffin left even the tiniest openings in his defense Silva would explode with punches that eventually led to the fight ending knockout.
Le on the other hand is a bit more flashy with his strikes. Le’s combination of Taekwondo and Kung-Fu make him one of the most aesthetically pleasing fighters to watch. His 2008 bout with Frank Shamrock is a great example of Le’s entire striking arsenal. Throughout the bout Le slammed Shamrock with kicks, punches, and spinning backfists before Shamrock called off the fight due to a broken arm caused by a Cung Le kick.
The idea of watching Silva having to matrix his way away from a Le spinning back kick should make MMA fans around the world yearn for this matchup.
Silva and Le Would Be Motivated
After nearly seventeen years in the fight game and thirty nine bouts one would have to think that Anderson Silva’s motivation is waning. Silva looked disinterested in fighting during his first bout with Chris Weidman but looked like a new fighter in their rematch. As the MMA world knows, Silva broke his leg in that fight which leads to questions about his ability to go mentally forward with fighting. The best cure for a possibly unmotivated Silva is Cung Le. A bout between the two has been talked about for years and Silva performs best when there is a noticeable buzz surrounding his fight. Silva’s second fight with Chael Sonnen was one of his finest performances in the Octagon and it was also his most talked about fight to that point. A bout would Le would bring at least the same amount of buzz to the event and bring out the beast within Anderson Silva
When it comes down to it Cung Le is a part-time fighter. Since knocking out Rich Franklin in 2012, Le has remained largely out of the American public eye. A bout with Silva would have Le rushing back to the gym for the biggest fight of his career. Put the best Cung Le in against the best Anderson Silva and we have one of the greatest fights of all time.
Imagine the Exposure
Outside of his last bout with Chris Weidman, Silva has never done Georges St.Pierre pay-per-view numbers for the UFC. A bout with Le would definitely bring in north of 500,000 buys which would be great for a company that’s struggling to create pay-per-view stars. Silva and Le are no spring chickens but their bout would put some extra cash into the UFC’s pocket and grow the company’s fan base. Most fans who know even the slightest amount about MMA know who Anderson Silva is and would be willing to spend their hard earned money on a fight between him and the guy from “Pandorum.” If the UFC really wanted to go crazy they should throw this fight on a Fox card with supporting bouts between the promotion’s up and coming stars. That way the company would likely break the ratings record set by Junior dos Santos versus Cain Velasquez I and give the pay-per-view stars of tomorrow a much needed platform to perform. Either way this fight is a win-win for all involved