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Wednesday, 05/16/2012, 03:01 pm

Exclusive | Rich Franklin moves Cung Le prep to Singapore


Rich Franklin makes his return to the UFC middleweight division against Cung Le at UFC 148. The card is headlined by the rematch of UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and his arch rival Chael Sonnen in a bout that promises to deliver fireworks. Despite Cung’s first attempt in the UFC, which ended in a TKO loss to Wanderlei Silva, Le is still a formidable foe.

Rich Franklin spoke with BJ Penn earlier this month about Cung Le and his unique fighting style.

“Cung is a different kind of fighter”, Franklin said. “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.”

Switching things up is not something Rich is a stranger to, and it appears that this fight definitely warrants a different approach in training. Franklin made the decision to not only change his routines, but his location all together, and headed to Asia.

“I came down to Evolve in Singapore to get a different perspective on things for my camp. It’s great. I have access to all their coaches, and they are bringing in Wushu and Sanshou guys in for me to work with”, Rich said.

Franklin’s own style has also been classified as slightly unorthdox because he fights southpaw when he was born a natural right-handed striker. He utilizes his own slicing angles to throw clubbing punches, and powerful kicks. Most fighters have to adjust to his style as much as he does theirs. However, despite his experience and success in the Octagon he acknowledges that every fighter, and every fight is different from the last. Cung is no exception.

“The focus down here is about pattern recognition so there are no surprises in the fight. I spend the morning training with their fight team, most of which fight for ONE FC here in Asia, and spend the afternoons in their Thai program working extensively with Namsaknoi. We train twice a day, four times a week, and then once a day for two days. We are utilizing all the time we can to get ready for this fight. The only days off are Sunday because that day belongs to the lord.”

Rich Franklin faces Cung Le on the main card of UFC 148. This fight takes place July 7, 2012.

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