Cung Le managed to earn his first victory in the UFC tonight against Patrick Cote at the ripe old age of 40.
Le was able to take Cote down immediately in the opening round after catching a kick and using it to dump Cote to the mat, but he didn’t follow him the the ground.
The two then settled into the striking battle with Cote taking the center of the cage and putting pressure on initially, but Le was still able to get off a few of his trademark kicks and as the round progressed Le was starting to press forward more.
Overall there wasn’t a whole lot of action in this round, but Le was landing more of his strikes while doing a good job of keeping his distance and steering clear of Cote’s powerful right hand.
Le was able to land a couple of nice body kicks early in the second and a wheel kick to the head that was partially blocked, but then Cote landed with his best combination of the fight so far and that got Le’s attention.
Le was now sporting a small cut around his left eye, but he was continuing to land strikes himself and landed a clean punch to the jaw and also opened up a sizeable cut to the right side of Cote’s head, though it wasn’t immediately clear how it happened.
The two men continued to engage on the feet for the remainder of the round and Cote lands a nice combination in close towards the end of the round, while Le also had some success with a right hand and a knee in what looked a fairly even five minutes of fighting.
In the final round the two were still trying to make something happen on the feet, with Le looking for a few head kicks without much success, while Cote did find a home for a spinning backfist which Le took well.
Interestingly, as the round progressed the two then started to attempt to take the action to the floor. Le was able to get a trip takedown against the cage, though Cote almost immediately stood back up.
Cote then tried to respond by going for a single leg takedown of his own, but Le was able to keep his balance and break free.
They clinch up and again Le is able to secure a trip takedown and this time secures top control. Le stays busy enough to keep the fight on the floor in the final minute to seal the round, and most likely the fight, in his favor.
It’s down to the judges to decide and they unanimously award Le the victory (30-27 x3).
It’s great to see Le fulfilling a long-time dream by getting his first win inside the Octagon, and while it wasn’t a vintage performance he fought smart, conserving his energy when required and utilizing takedowns in the last round to help carry him across the finishing line.