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UFC heads to China

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UFC on Fuel TV 6 Betting Preview at Bovada

It's been nearly a month since the last UFC event, but the organization returns with back-to-back weekend cards starting Saturday, Nov. 10, with UFC on Fuel TV 6. It is headlined by a middleweight bout between former champ Rich Franklin and ex-Strikeforce titleholder Cung Le. It will be staged in Macao, the UFC's first-ever event in greater China.

Franklin and Le originally were set to fight at UFC 148 in July, but Franklin was moved off that to replace Vitor Belfort against Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147, and Franklin won that fight by unanimous decision (his second career win vs. Silva). Le stayed on the UFC 148 card and earned a unanimous decision over Patrick Cote. The Vietnam-born Le, who is an American, is a big star in Asia not only for his fighting skill - he's a Sanshou kickboxer -- but also because of a successful career in Hong Kong kung fu movies. The 40-year-old is 8-2 in his MMA career but is a newbie in the UFC after being a champion in Strikeforce. Le debuted in UFC last November with a second-round TKO loss to Silva at UFC 139. All but one of Le's fights have ended by some form of knockout.

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Le did suffer a foot injury in that Cote victory and he admits he likely won't be 100 percent vs. Franklin. Le said that if the fight wasn't in China, where he has competed in kickboxing, that he would have pulled out. The card obviously needed an Asian headliner.

The 38-year-old Franklin (29-6), a former high school teacher, has been fighting mostly at light-heavyweight in recent years but is moving back down to middleweight in hopes of landing one more title shot at that weight. "Ace" won the middleweight title in June 2005 by beating Evan Tanner at UFC 53. Franklin defended it twice before losing to Anderson Silva at UFC 64. Franklin has alternated wins and losses in his past seven fights; 19 of his fights have ended in a knockout and he has yet to be submitted.

Franklin opened as the -285 favorite at Bovada but has taken more than 75 percent of the action to move him to a current -315. Le has shifted from +225 to +245. Franklin has been the betting favorite in four of his past five fights (the exception vs. Chuck Liddell), although he opened as the +115 dog in his last bout vs. Silva before closing at -120. Franklin lost as a -125 favorite vs. Forrest Griffin at UFC 126 and at -140 vs. Belfort at UFC 103.

There is also a welterweight fight between Dong Hyun Kim (15-2) and Paulo Thiago (14-4). The Korean has lost two of his past three fights after starting 5-0 in the UFC. He lasted just 47 seconds in July vs. Demian Maia, injuring his rib while attempting to defend a takedown and losing by TKO. Thiago also suffered a one-sided loss his last time out, getting knocked out in the first round by Siyar Bahadurzada at UFC on Fuel TV 2 in April. The Brazilian has lost three of his past four overall.

Kim opened at -250 but is now at -260. Thiago has moved slightly from +195 to +200 and has taken about 70 percent of the lean. Thiago was the favorite in his previous four fights. The last time he was a dog was at UFC 109 when he submitted Mick Swick. Kim was favored in three of his past four fights, losing at -155 vs. Maia. "Stun Gun" was a -105 dog in his other career loss, vs. Carlos Condit at UFC 132.

Finally, a lightweight bout on the main card features Japan's Takanori Gomi and American Mac Danzig. Gomi (33-8) is a former Pride lightweight champion and last fought in February at UFC 144, beating Eiji Mitsuoka by second-round TKO. That ended a two-fight losing streak and improved Gomi to 2-3 in the UFC. Danzig (21-9) is likely best-known for winning "the Ultimate Fighter" Season 6. Danzig last fought in April, beating "TUF 8" winner Efrain Escudero by unanimous decision.

There has been decent movement on this fight. Danzig opened at -210 but is now at -260. Gomi has moved from +170 to +200 despite taking an early majority lean.

Bet on UFC on Fuel TV 6 at Bovada Sportsbook. Raise Your Game.

  
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