01-12-2008, 09:51 AM
Status: Hows that working for ya?
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Elmhurst, IL
| | Cung Le Interview
Exclusive: Cung Le "I Will Fight Shamrock" 01/10/08
PDG: Since your victory at Strikeforce in November against Sammy Morgan; What have you been up to? |
Cung: I have been relaxing and spending time with my family.
PDG: Did you suffer any injuries in that fight?
Cung: No, I did not suffer any injuries in the fight and I feel great.
PDG: It was a great fight; What are your thoughts on how the fight went and on Sammy Morgan in general?
Cung: Sam came into that fight with the pedal to the metal and he was trying to take my head off with every punch that he threw. His style was a little more un-orthodox than I was used to. So it kind of threw my game off a little bit. I started to get into rhythm but he kept going for the clinch and we ended up on the ground. I just kept with my game plan and I wasn't looking for the knockout. The knockout will come eventually if you stay with your game plan. Then in the third round, I hit him with another body kick and he was down for the final time. I just tried to be careful. There is a reason that he has knockouts on his resume. Sam has heavy hands and he was able to catch me with a few punches during the fight. I wanted to take my time and make sure that I didn't get hit with a lucky shot.
PDG: Were you surprised that he kept coming after you even though you had hit him with about a dozen power kicks?
Cung: Not only was I delivering kicks but towards the end of one of the rounds he came at me and I caught him with a right hook. When he went to the ground we both kind of stumbled and I ended up on top of him. That's when he tried to get me in the triangle choke. I was able to put his head down and get out and get the fight back up standing. Then later on in the fight when we were both on the ground again I was able to pin his arm between my legs and unload several punches to his face. That is the first time in my whole career I thought to myself “Man this Sport is Violent”.
PDG: What is your training schedule like now?
Cung: If I'm not training for a upcoming fight, then I usually work out three to four days a week with three days off. Usually, I will go something like two days on one day off, one day on one day off and so forth. Now that I believe that the Frank Shamrock fight is going to happen in March, I will be updating the double-day workouts and keeping my body fresh. The fight is all most three months away so I will just be concentrating on my training.
PDG: So you think that you and Frank are fighting at the Strikeforce event in March? Because there have been a lots of rumors that Frank is fighting Ken Shamrock on March 31st.
Cung: Yes, as far as I know we will be fighting March 29th. The fight with his brother is slated for next year. Why would they have that fight on a Monday night? I think that our fight will be bigger anyway because it's not like Ken has had a lot of success lately with his two losses to Tito Ortiz. Fans will watch that fight because of the drama between the two but I believe that our fight will be better.
PDG: Since Frank excepted your challenge at that last Strikeforce event, he put up a little Youtube (http://youtube.com/watch?v=892xeAKarSY) video of the two of you sparring several years ago basically mocking your skills. Did you get a chance to see it and what you think?
Cung: Yes I have seen it and that Youtube video is only about 30 seconds long. You should ask him to post the whole un-edited video and then people can make up their own mind. That video only contained the first round of our warm-ups but that's fine because now fans can have something to watch that will help build up the fight. Personally, I laughed at the video. When we were sparring that time Frank had his video camera and I did not have one, so he is the only one that has the whole un-edited version. So unless Frank posts the whole video, fans will just have to wait until March to see what really happened during that sparring session.
PDG: What do you think your advantages are going to be in the fight?
Cung: Of course I believe that my advantages are going to be in the stand-up game. Frank will have the advantage on the ground where he is very good. At the same time, Frank is also very good in his stand-up and with 4 ounce gloves everyone in MMA has a punchers' chance. It is almost like hitting with your bare fists. I like my chances in this fight and that is all that I am going to say about it.
PDG: So then when does the training begin full bore?
Cung: It has already begun!! This time around I have hired a nanny to help with the kids so that I can concentrate 100% on my fight with Frank. This fight is very important in my career and I cannot afford any distractions.
PDG: You have been with some sort of entity of Strikeforce for a long time. How has your experience working for them been?
Cung: I have always fought for Strikeforce as they used to promote my kickboxing and amateur career. They have always supported me and that is why I am with them. Dana White has approached me a couple of times. I've also talked to Pro-Elite a couple of times and after my fight with Tony Fryklund they wanted to sign me. Scott Coker has always taken very good care of me and I have no reason to leave Strikeforce. They pay me very well and are always very supportive. Of course the UFC is the flagship of MMA but at this point they have not made any offers that have caught my attention.
PDG: Why did you decide to leave kickboxing and enter MMA?
Cung: My trainer Javier Mendez is a big reason that I made the switch. Back in 2005, when we were just friends we had a long talk about the future of kickboxing overseas and the world of MMA in the states. He advised me that it would be a great career decision and I took that advice and started training at his Academy. Next thing I know, I am 5-0 with five knockouts. It is a great start and I have to thank Javier for convincing me to make the change.
PDG: What would you say has been your best fight and then also the worst fight of your career?
Cung: I guess I would have to say that all of my fights in MMA have been the best fights of my career. The worst fight of my career had to be when I was in the semi finals of a tournament in Rome and I was matched up against an Iranian in the world championships. I was beating him really bad and all I had to do was cruise through the second round. The tournament was a three round system but you only went to the third round if you were tied after two rounds. I won the first round and in the second round, he tried a spinning back kick and I threw a low kick at the same time. The kick happened to hit him near the groin and I was issued a warning by the referee. Obviously the placing of the kick was unintentional. After that I did an inside leg kick and it was apparent that I had hit him just above the knee. The Iranian fighter started being as if I had kicked him in the groin again. The referee disqualified me because of his acting skills. We had built by on video and it clearly showed that I did not kick him in the groin. It was very disappointing because I had already beaten the favored fighter in the tournament from Belarus, Russia. I found during my travels and fights around the world that it is hard for Americans to get fair judgment in most overseas competitions. After that I decided that I was done with the amateur stuff and I was only going to fight professional.
PDG: It must've been a great experience to travel the world and fight all those fighters from different countries.
Cung: Yes, it definitely was great experience and I believe it will continue to help me in my career.
PDG: Alright, I am going to go outside of the professional fighting arena for a minute. Tell me about the movie that you just finished filming with David Carradine?
Cung: When I stopped competing as an amateur, I started training the US National Team. Back in 2005 we started doing very well and I had two fighters make it to the finals. My mom called the night before the finals and told me that a director was interested in talking to me from Russia. When I called him back he wanted me to come to Toronto the next day to be in the biggest fight scene in the movie he was filming. I told him I would be impossible because I had fighters fighting in the finals the next day and the day after that would be the medal ceremony and I could not leave my fighters. So eventually after a day and a half of travel, I finally arrived in Toronto. I signed a basic contract with the director and producer of the film for a fighting role in the production. Next thing I know they are giving me the dialog pages and telling me that I am the star of the show. I was like what are you talking about? Then they told me that the next day I would be doing my first scene with David Carradine. Thank God I had taken some acting classes before but it was all good because I was on set with David, Gary Busey, Eric Roberts and other veteran actors that were helping me. Even though the whole filming production took a long time it was a great experience as I got to go to even more places around the world including Russia and also get more acting experience.
PDG: So give your fans a little preview of the movie and when will it be released.
Cung: I expect the movie to be released later this year and the name is Blizhniy Boy: The Ultimate Fighter. In the movie I play the son of a rich businessmen who has ties with the Russian mob. As not to spoil the film, the mob sets up my family and I am forced to flee to America as that is the only place that I am able to make money fighting in the underground. David Carradine becomes my protector/manager and the only way for the mob to get to me is to bet against me in the underground fights. The movie is nonstop action and I am sure that my fans will enjoy it.
Here is the trailer: YouTube - Blizhniy Boy : The Ultimate Fighter
Another movie that I have been cast for is Tekken. I will be playing the part of Martial Law and I am sure that anybody that has played that videogame will know who that is. I am just waiting for my agent to tell me when we will start filming for this movie
PDG: Both of those sound awesome and I am sure that your fans will like both movies.
Cung: I hope so and I don't mind starting with smaller production movies. It will help me later on in my career having the guidance of the veteran actors on the shoots.
PDG: Thanks again for your time Cung, is there anything else you want would like to tell your fans?
Cung: I want to thank all my fans for their support and make sure you all tune in either on Showtime or live by buying tickets at my gym for my fight against Shamrock in March. Fans can also get updates on my website Official Cung Le Website.