UFC 148: Saturday, July 7, 2012 MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada UFC Middleweight Contender Patrick Cote (-260) Profile: With Rich Franklin pulling out of the Cung Le fight at UFC 148 to take on Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147, the doors were left wide open for MMA vet Patrick Cote (17-7) to make his return to the promotion. After suffering three losses in a row over between 2009 and 2010, starting with a TKO loss to Anderson Silva for the middleweight title at UFC 90, the 32-year-old Canadian won four in a row on the independent circuit and recorded an impressive knockout victory against Gustavo Machado in May at Amazon Forest Combat 2. That marked his fourth win in a row since leaving the UFC and was enough to earn him another shot. UFC Middleweight Contender Cung Le (+200) Profile: Former Strikeforce middleweight champion and B-movie star Cung Le (7-2) has had a brief, exciting yet unsuccessful run in the UFC thus far. His lone fight came in November of 2011 at UFC 139, when he lost to former light heavyweight champion Wanderlei Silva in what would have likely been named Fight of the Night if not for the Fight of the Year between Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. The 40-year-old Vietnamese American has an incredible array of Wushu (a Chinese form of martial arts) and kickboxing skills to bring at his opponent in very unorthodox ways. Le can come at his opponent from any angle, and even at his advanced age, he is extremely fast. His fights with Scott Smith in Strikeforce are legendary, and he is still hoping to carry that aura over to the UFC. Opening UFC 148 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Cote a solid -260 favorite (bet $260 to win $100) while Le opened as a +200 underdog (bet $100 to win $200) according to the MMA odds. This is not the original scheduled matchup for Le at UFC 148, but he still finds himself as a sizable dog against a tough opponent in Cote, who could really benefit from a big win here on the main card. Both fighters have a lot to gain here, especially Cote since he is much younger and could still make an impact in the middleweight division. Meanwhile, Le is out to prove he is not just a promotional gimmick used to draw ratings and can actually fight in the UFC following a disappointing performance against Wanderlei Silva. Cote is a tough opponent and would help him gain some relevancy. No matter who MMA bettors back in this one, it will certainly be worth watching.
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