MMAFrenzy.com recently had the opportunity to interview recently-crowned Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le, who revealed to MMAFrenzy.com that he will not be fighting again until late-2008 or early-2009. Find out the reason for the layoff and much more in this MMAFrenzy.com exclusive interview.
Orlando Mac: Tell us about Cung Le.
Cung Le: Iâ€™m a single parent with two boys, and I just beat Frank Shamrock for the Strikeforce Middleweight Title. I run and operate a Martial Arts gym called Cung Leâ€™s Universal Strength HeadQuarters. It has weights, cardio machines, and kids MMA programs to adult MMA programs. I just wake up everyday grateful to be alive, and I live everyday like it is going to be my last.
Orlando Mac: Who would you like to get in the cage and KO with a high kick to their head?
Cung Le: Well, I just high kicked to the head Frank Shamrock, I wanted to get him in the cage, I wanted to kick him to the head and I sure did.
Orlando Mac: Who has the biggest mouth in the business?
Cung Le: I think that would be Frank.
Orlando Mac: Your mammoth fight with Frank Shamrock recently some would say already is fight of the year, what was going through your mind during the fight?
Cung Le: Definitely, in my mind I was in a fight! Frank was bringing some heat.
Orlando Mac: What was your game plan?
Cung Le: My game plan was to build my kicks and wherever it lands, make sure it does damage.
Orlando Mac: In my recent interview with Frank Shamrock he had some interesting things to say about you. first he said in reference to what he was thinking during the fight, â€œI was having fun during the fight, I wasnâ€™t stressed by Cung Le.â€
He also said in reference to a rematch, â€œI would pressure him more instead of playing with him, I would put him to sleep, Cung is boring, besides his cool kicks.â€
Cung Le: It takes two to make an exciting fight, he canâ€™t just go in there by himself and make it exciting, and I think it was probably one of the best, exciting fights that he has ever had, so he can say whatever he wants to say.
How is he going to put me to sleep? He had his chance, actually during the fight I gave him two to opportunities to put his specialty to work, which is submissions, and he couldnâ€™t do it. Of course, I just think he is upset that he lost and he is a sore loser.
Orlando Mac: He also said, â€œI was doing what I wanted to do during the fight and Cung was getting the hell beat out of him then I broke my arm.â€
Cung Le: He said he would stand with me, which he did, but in the fight I gave him no chance to do anything else. In the fight, I defended his take-down attempts, I gave him opportunities to take me down, to take my back, which I gave him my back when I gave him that spinning back kick.
Then when he countered my will kick, which I am sure he did allot of training and practice for, what I was going to throw, and he countered me down and tried to jump my back again.
I popped out of it, and he brought me down and got the front choke, but I defended it. Honestly, he had to stand, there was no other way, you canâ€™t just jump into open guard which he did, and invite me into the guard, which I said, â€œNo.â€ So he had to fight me stand-up and he lost.
Orlando Mac: Another quote that I thought you would like to hear from that interview was, â€œI donâ€™t think Cung will fight me again.” Is a rematch in the cards?
Cung Le: Iâ€™ll give Frank a rematch, he gave me the opportunity. I think right now he is pretty smart, pretty witty, but I know his tricks from his fighting and the tricks that will come out of his mouth. I know he is going to say that I wouldnâ€™t fight him again, but of course he is saying that because he is covering his bases.
If there is a rematch I will give it to him.
Orlando Mac: Is there something you would like to say to Frank?
Cung Le: I hope he has a good and fast recovery.
Orlando Mac: Many fight fans out there would love to see you in the cage against Anderson Silva, what is the chance of that happening?
Cung Le: I feel my promoter is open to do a co-promotion, but I know the UFC isnâ€™t willing to do one, but I am sure that Dana White can come in and borrow me for one fight, but of course he has to pay my promoter something.
Iâ€™m sure something can be worked out, if the fans really want that fight, and if Dana could make it happen I am sure my promoter Scott Coker would be open to it.
Orlando Mac: Would you beat Anderson?
Cung Le: I am going to answer you like if I was asked if I would beat Frank, I donâ€™t know. I didnâ€™t know if I was going to beat Frank, I donâ€™t know if I would beat Anderson if I fought him. The only way I would find out if I could beat him is to fight him.
To all my opponents, doesnâ€™t matter if it is Mike Altman my first MMA fight, to an Anderson Silva, who is pound for pound the best in the world, I respect them all the same. They are martial artists and they train, they live the martial arts lifestyle. I have respect for all my martial arts brothers out there, and then if we step into the cage, then we step in the cage, which then is do our best to win.
Orlando Mac: Cung – who can you attribute to having helped you learn the most from?
Cung Le: Wow, there has been so many people who have taught me a lot of things, but I think I have to credit Javier Mendez for really putting my game together. Before I have been very talented and blessed with natural skills, very athletic, and very technical, but Javier Mendez is really the one who put everything together.
Orlando Mac: Who is your best friend in the fight game?
Cung Le: I have a lot of friends but I would say it comes down to two my trainer Javier Mendez and my promoter Scott Coker.
Orlando Mac: If you were training for a fight with a BJJ specialist who would you train with in preparation for that fight?
Cung Le: My camp now with Paul Shriner, the guys over at AKA, and David Camarillo, I have all that I can handle. So, I would stick to my own camp because they know me best, they bring people in if we need, but it would probably come down to Javier Mendez making that decision, but if you donâ€™t get taken down then you donâ€™t need much BJJ.
Orlando Mac: With an excellent take-down defense you donâ€™t need much ground, and you showed those skills highly in your last fight.
Cung Le: Thank you, because you know a lot of people I can never please because after the fight they are like Cungâ€™s ground game hasnâ€™t been tested, or Frank canâ€™t take anyone down. I will just remind everyone that Frank picked up Igor Zanoviev over his head and broke his collarbone on a takedown and he did beat Tito Ortiz.
Orlando Mac: Do you have any advice for your next opponent?
Cung Le: Letâ€™s just put on a good show and letâ€™s go out there with both guns blazing.
Orlando Mac: Tell us how Cung Le got to this point in life?
Cung Le: A lot of hard work, faith in the Lord, support from my family, and being blessed to be around the right people that is how I got here.
Orlando Mac: What would surprise people the most about Cung Le?
Cung Le: I am funny.
Orlando Mac: Youâ€™re a scary guy, what scares you?
Cung Le: My kids getting hurt.
Orlando Mac: What was it like as Cung the teenager?
Cung Le: Same work ethics especially in wrestling, but skinnier.
Orlando Mac: Is there a message you would like to send to your fans out there?
Cung Le: Thank you for all of your support and watch out for me on the big screen.
Orlando Mac: Tell us about the movies, you have worked on, and when are we going to see them?
Cung Le: The two recent big movies that I have worked on set for release, one is called â€œFightingâ€ and it will be released at the end of the year. I have a big fight scene in it which is exciting to watch. It was an awesome movie, my co-star spent a day in the hospital from our fight scene and I had a sore back for a week, you have to watch the movie to see why.
Then in January for all you gamers â€œTekkenâ€ the movie will come out, and I play Martial Law which I believe was the most popular character until they added more characters to the game. Martial Law is a character after Bruce Lee who does all the back flip kicks. Game number six is out next year and I think people are ready to see the movie.
Orlando Mac: Who are you fighting next?
Cung Le: I was supposed to sit down with my promoter this month but he said he has the big fight with Josh Thompson vs. Gilbert Milendez to promote, and he told me itâ€™s only been 5 or 6 weeks, to enjoy my win.
I told him I didnâ€™t want to fight until the end of the year, or early next year.
A lot of people didnâ€™t know in November after my fight with Sam Morgan I was already having issues with my elbows, with bone debris in there, and bone spurs.
I had surgery after that fight, after a week or ten days, it was only supposed to be a simple half hour job, and there was a bone spur poking one of my nerves. So it took an hour and a half to fix and they told me I wasnâ€™t supposed to get back in the cage for at least six months.
A week later after the surgery, I found out that Frank was not bluffing about the challenge he accepted after the Sam Morgan fight, and we were going to get it on March 29th, so I sucked it up did some super rehab and came out ahead. I just want to let my whole body heal up this time, and be 100% next time I step into the cage.
Orlando Mac: Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
Cung Le: I got to thank Scott Coker for building me right and taking care of me.
Orlando Mac: Thank you for your time and best of luck.