The one knock on striking expert Cung Le has always been his inconsistent dedication to the sport of MMA. A decorated Sanshou and kickboxing expert, Le had his attention diverted from professional fighting when he began getting offers to be in movies. When he faced Scott Smith for the first time back in 2009, Le found out why fighting while not fully focused is a big mistake.
Le dominated Smith early, but ran out of gas down the lane and was knocked out in the third round. Now on the verge of making his UFC debut, Le explained today how that fight taught him to take MMA completely seriously while competing.
“I actually learned my lesson the first time when I came back against Scott Smith, I wasn’t very busy training when I was on the movie set, I was just more focused on getting into character,” said the 39-year-old. “But, this second time around, after I beat Scott Smith and I was doing some film work, I made sure I trained every day and I stayed in shape. When I came back to the States I got right back in the gym the following week. So, I’ve been training since February, I’ll be ready to go here.”
Le, who told fans today that he is “one hundred percent” dedicated to MMA over film right now, also talked about what it means to him to have gone from being a Vietnamese refugee in the Philippines to fighting in the co-main event of the world’s biggest MMA promotion.
“It really means a lot,” he said. “I’ve fought on many different platforms, different styles, but being a UFC fighter now and being the co-main event definitely is a dream come true. Just earlier this morning I was looking at the picture where I was in the refugee camp and now, being the co-main event in the UFC, it’s a dream come true. I’m very excited. I’m going to be ready to rock and roll and give the fans what they want to see.”
Le will face Pride FC veteran Wanderlei Silva on November 19 at UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson, which goes down at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.