For about 200 seconds or so he might be.
Oh lawd. Cung Le is the new BJ Penn?
Well, considering Franklin is getting up there in age himself I doubt his gas tank is much better than Cung Le's & could even things out.
Kicking wise, yes, but boxing wise, no. His boxing and boxing defense is sub-par. His clinch work, including knees to the body and dirty boxing, is almost non-existent.
So striking wise he has one advantage, but for him it is a hell of an advantage.
Cung Le doesn't try to box people though.
His whole style is staying at kicking range and making people pay when they try to get inside his kicks. If he stays away it doesn't matter so much if his boxing defense is lacking, his opponents may rarely be close enough to him to land a punch.
His range is his defense. As long as he keeps ppl like Cote out of range -- his boxing defense is great.