Cung Le Plotting UFC Return, Says He Still Has Some Fights Left in Him

January 11, 2013
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Cung Le and Tony Fryklund at Strikeforcs/ Elite XCComing 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 “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.”

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  • dan

    I love Cung because he’s not even asking to be put on a path to a title shot. He just wants to go out there on MMA’s biggest stage on put on a fight. Belcher would be a good opponent.

    • $19500761

      Yeah Cung Le is a good guy, good fighter!

    • DamianCross

      He knows his place. He made it on top of the San Shao world, got into MMA because the two were so closely related, but he’s aware of his age at this point and acts accordingly. Can’t really fault the guy.

  • trupert

    If I were the UFC, I’d use Le as either a warm-up fight for Weidman when he comes back (if Bisping beats Belfort and fights Spider next) or for Belfort to fight (if Belfort beats Bisping and UFC goes with Weidman immediately vs Spider). Le would be a good ‘pot warmer’

    Further down, I’d do a Lombard/Okami winner vs Rockhold/Larkin winner (if they make Rockhold/Larkin in the UFC fight) This will produce the next contender unless it’s Okami.

    Also, I’d do a Munoz/Boetsch and Franklin/Belcher ‘losers’ bracket so that the winner would have 2 wins in a row and back in contention.

    And I guess while sorting out the ‘old guard’, I’d do a Souza/Herman winner vs Stann/Wandy winner (if Stann/Wandy winner wants to come back down to 185).

    Heck, work is slow, might as well finish this out.

    With the ‘new guard’ and building prospects, I’d do:

    Craig/Markes winner vs Gracie/Smith winner

    Kennedy/Smith winner vs Philippou/Carmont winner (if they make that fight)

    Camozzi/Ring winner vs Watson/Nedkov winner

    and Dolloway/Sarafian winner vs Tavares/Fukuda winner (though I’m not expecting great things out of any of these 4. )

    To keep things neat, while the winners are fighting each other, make the losers fight each other as well.

    Brunson is your ‘upper’ level injury replacement and Leben in your ‘lower’ level injury replacement as well as Palhares when he comes back from suspension.

    Am I forgetting anything?

  • bill x.

    Le vs Silva would be awesome whether or not cung has earned it. Silva would have a really good striker in cung who want fall after one punch. Silva would finally face a striker who kicks better than him and has some decent punching power. Plus cungs wrestling isn’t too bad either. Silva needs a challenge from a really good striker with power and wresting experience . I like bisping ( met Michael once in oc)hes a down yo earth guy in person. But I don’t think Anderson has anything to fear from bisping. Anderson will knock him out or beat him up ( similar to Cote) for five rounds. The only challenge for Silva is a striker with power and decent wrestling it a great wrestler with power in his punches.

  • makoy

    Munoz versus Le Fat middleweight versus Small middleweight. Looks fun. MMA , WWE style.

  • Adam Bruss

    Gotta love Le. I think he’s one of the smartest fighters in MMA right now. He knows he has the luxury to pick his fights more than others and he uses it to its full potential. I like a man who takes charge and uses his power. Le for chief Martial Arts Director of the United States.