UFC MACAO: CUNG LE

Movie superstar and UFC fighter Cung Le is no stranger to Hong Kong fans.  Last seen in the thriving Asian financial city while filming “Body Guards and Assassins” with Donnie Yen, he became a face quite familiar to avid cinemaphiles.  Cung returned to Hong Kong this past week to have dinner with Donnie, and to follow it up with a promotional appearance to announce his upcoming fight with Rich Franklin in Macau for UFC FUEL TV 6 on November 10th.

Cung Le in Bodyguards and Assassins, courtesy IMDB

Cung Le’s professional MMA career followed a very successful sanda and kickboxing one – he is undefeated throughout 17 bouts in Draka, Strikeforce, and K-1.  In MMA he won the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship, and relinquished it only when he turned to a professional acting career.  His record stands at 8-2 and his next fight stands to be the toughest of his career to date: as the main event on the card, he will be looking at a five-round bout.  Cung’s flashy style, incredible power, and dogged toughness make him an exciting fighter to watch, and coupled with Rich’s talents in the cage, this is one of the most interesting matches in the UFC to look forward to.

MMA-in-Asia caught up with Cung Le during his stop in Hong Kong for the inaugural UFC presser.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get into that dinner with Donnie Yen.

What do you feel is the significance of being the main event in China?

Being Vietnamese, I’m still Asian, I’m under the umbrella of the family.  I’m honored to be the Main Event.  I don’t like the 5-rounder, but I’m happy just to be on this card and fight in front of all Asian people around the world.  I’ll fight my heart out.  I’m excited.

How do you feel about your cardio for the five rounds?

I feel good about this fight, especially my condition.  A lot of people didn’t realize that a week before my last fight,  me and my wife and my trainer got food poisoning and I was down for a day and a half.  I still performed well, and for me to finish by helping Patrick Cote off the mat felt – I felt really good about that.

You came to Hong Kong over ten years ago for Sanshou championships, and you came back to film Bodyguards and Assassins – which was a huge hit in here.  Are you going to have lunch with Donnie Yen?

I actually had dinner with him last night.  In case you hadn’t noticed, I wore his shirt during the training.  Me and Donnie already have plans to do another movie together.  It’s amazing to work with Donnie, he’s a true martial artist and gentleman.

How are you able to balance all these aspects of your life?

Well right now, I’ve just been focusing on the fight.  Just like after the Wanderlei fight, I started training and getting ready for Rich, but he got pulled because of the Brazil card and I fought Patrick Cote, so we do have some unfinished business, although we’re not really guys who talk S.H.I.T, you know, during our interviews.  But we’ll definitely leave it all in the cage.

Do you cut much weight?

My weight cut will be about 15 pounds.

How long will that take you?

Every work out I lose like 7 or 8 pounds of a lot of water.  I’m small for the weight, but you know what they say: the bigger they are, the hard they fall.