Coming off the biggest win of his career at UFC on Fuel TV 6 in China, there were a lot of questions whether main event winner Cung Le would return to fighting or not.
At 40 years of age, Le has spent most of his adult life in or around some form of martial arts, but with a burgeoning movie career that included a major role in the film The Man with the Iron Fists, which was released last year, many wondered if MMA was still in his future.
Now just two months removed from his epic knockout over former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, it appears Cung Le has plenty of fight left in him.
“I feel like I’ve still got some fights left in me, so I’m not going to retire right away,” Le told MMAWeekly.com. “I felt like a performance like that – and I know some people were saying I was starting slow, it’s like hello it’s a five-round fight, I’m going to pace myself, but at the same time I know when to explode and I know when to pace myself.”
Le definitely knew when to explode because he landed one of the nastiest one-punch knockouts in UFC history when he put Franklin away during their main event bout in China.
Following the fight, Le headed home to California where he ended up undergoing two elbow surgeries to remove bone spurs from his arm.
“Right after I came back from the media tour in China to promote the fight, like a bone chip must have fell into the crease in my arm because it was locking up. So I went to the doctor and they did a 3-D x-ray and they saw a bunch of bone spurs. He went in there and cleaned up as much as he could so I was able to still fight,” said Le.
“That was six weeks before my fight against Rich (Franklin). Then after the fight just training and during the fight when I was throwing punches, I felt something weird in my arm. I threw with everything I had and when I followed through I felt something weird in my elbow and then the same thing happened where a bone chip must have slipped down there and my arm started locking up.”
The key for Le right now is making sure that he heals up correctly before heading back into full training or sparring to get ready for a fight again.
Doctors have explained it will take about six to eight weeks following the elbow surgery before he’s allowed to get back into full training mode, but Le admits it’s hard to stay out of the gym, so he’s still doing cardio and whatever he can that won’t put stress on his arm.
“I’m going to make sure I heal right this time because I think getting into Macao after hurting my foot really bad, and I did have some elbow problems leading up to that fight. I’m just glad I got two big wins in the UFC, and as soon as I heal up I think I’m going to be gearing up again,” Le stated.
There is no specific timeline for Le’s next fight in the UFC, but he’s definitely coming back and there are plenty of middleweights that could welcome him when he returns.
“It takes a little bit longer to heal. I’m 40 years old,” Le joked. “But I want to make a proper rehab and we’ll take it from there.”