Coming off an undefeated campaign in 2017, Thanh Le was looking to keep his momentum going when he kicked off his 2018 against Bobby Moffett for the LFA interim featherweight title in January.
According to Le, he was able to get a TKO finish right as the fight might have been shifting in Moffett’s favor.
“There are always things you can work on and get better with, but I’m happy with my strategy during the fight,” Le told MMAWeekly.com. “I was happy with my cage defense when he put me against and things like that.
“Obviously I’m really happy for the knockout. That came at a time where he started pushing the pace a little bit and started get a little more confidence with his hands. I’m really happy, but I’m never satisfied.”
Though he’s averaged just two bouts a year, Le feels the he’s been able to use his time off between fights to become a far superior fighter to the one he was just a year or so ago.
“I always have this ongoing joke with my coaches that I’d whoop my own ass if I fought last year’s version of myself, or the version from The Ultimate Fighter,” said Le. “There’s been a tremendous amount of growth in skills and physicality, but a lot of mental building as well.”
Having claimed an interim title in his last bout, Le (8-1) will look to unify his belt against fellow titleholder Kevin Aguilar (13-1) in a 145-pound championship main event of Friday’s LFA 40 in Dallas, Texas.
“I’m really excited to get in there with somebody (in Aguilar) who wants to stand and throw down,” Le said. “He’s going to come forward. He’s going to put pressure. He’s going to try to hit me a lot. And we’re going to do the same.
“I don’t think he’s used to my range, my speed, and my tool selection. I think if he does decide to keep it on the feet I think the fight’s going to end early and not go all five.”
Should Le unify the LFA 145-pound title on Friday, his next move could be another shot at the UFC, but having been in this position before, he won’t let the pressure of the fight get to him.
“The reality of it is that the winner of the fight could go to the UFC or not,” said Le. “You have to face the reality and see it and understand that if that is the case to not let it put pressure on you.
“I’ve fought five or six fights in front of Dana White, Sean Shelby, Mick Maynard, on TV, Fight Pass, so that type of stuff doesn’t bother me or add any pressure. It just gets you excited to get up in the morning and go to train and put in the hard work and hours. It gets you excited to fight a tough guy like Kevin. It’s exciting more than anything else.”