On Saturday night it was a dream come true.
A lifetime martial artist, Le had battled all over the world in all kinds of different events, and even became Strikeforce middleweight champion, but as he approached 40 years of age all he wanted was to fight in the UFC.
Facing Le at UFC 148 was Canadian slugger Patrick Cote, who was taking the fight on short notice, but after a long campaign to get back into the UFC. Four wins in a row earned Cote a shot back in the UFC, but he had a tough test ahead of him in Cung Le.
The book on Cung Le is that he loves his kicks and he uses them well, but against Cote he was able to show off his hands and a number of takedowns.
From his San Shou background, Le employs some very solid throws and takedowns, but just hasn’t used them much in his MMA fights. He decided to show it off against Cote.
Throughout the 15-minute bout, Le was quicker to the punch and kept the distance against Cote and was out of the way when the powerful punch lunged forward with strikes.
When the fight was over Le had done the most damage, landed the most strikes and handled the most takedowns. The decision was elementary and the judges did well and handed the fight and the win to Cung Le.
“I feel great, a little tired, I was going to do a backflip but I didn’t have any energy,” Le said after his first win in the UFC. “He came and pushed it, he’s got such a hard head I hurt my foot on it.”
Now at 40-years of age, Le has a major film coming out later this year and more film roles coming soon, but after the exhilaration of his first UFC win even he admits it’s going to be hard to walk away from the UFC now.
“One goal reached another goal will come,” Le stated about his possible retirement. “I’m going to go back to the drawing boards, and I’ll let you guys know. I loved it, that was very exciting, and I’m an adrenaline junkie so I’m not sure if I can give it up yet.”
Le will now heal up and make the decision if there is at least one more fight left in his body.