Monday, June 27, 2022

MMANews.com Exclusive: Cung Le In-Depth On Frank Shamrock Fight

MMANews.com's own Chris Howie recently caught up with one of the biggest stars in the emerging Strikeforce promotion – Cung Le – following his win over Ultimate Fighter veteran Sam Morgan on the November 16th show in San Jose, California. Below is a complete transcript of the interview, which was conducted on Monday, November 19, 2007.

CUNG LE INTERVIEW (NOV. 19, 2007)

Chris Howie of MMANews.com: This is Chris Howie with MMANews.com and today I am speaking with Strikeforce Middleweight Cung Le. How are you today Cung?

Cung Le: I’m doing good, thank you.

MMANews.com: How are you feeling after your big win this past weekend?

Cung Le: I’m feeling great about it.

MMANews.com: Let’s go back to before the fight. Going in how were you feeling?

Cung Le: I was pretty excited. It was my first fight in almost six months so I was feeling ready. The only thing that really threw off my game plan was that Sam Morgan – instead of throwing straight punches – was throwing looping hooks, and he caught me in the eye at the beginning of the fight. Other than that we expected him to shoot and swing for the fences and I was well prepared for that.

MMANews.com: Were you expecting many takedowns like you got?

Cung Le: I expected him to try and take me down. I have a lot of confidence in my takedown defense.

MMANews.com: Well, you do have a wrestling background – correct?

Cung Le: Yeah, I have a high school and junior college wrestling background. I was an All-American in high school and an All-American in junior college. I wrestled freestyle and Greco-roman year-round for like six years so I felt that my wrestling would be a lot better and I also have really good Judo throws.

MMANews.com: Did him throwing off your game plan effect your performance any?

Cung Le: Well I was thrown off by his wild swings and everytime I rushed in he would duck down and come up with overhand rights and I couldn’t really get set with any solid punches. I hit him with a really good hook in the beginning and then after that I found he was really wild. My timing started coming together more in the third round because I spent the second round on the ground a lot and I didn’t get a good chance to unload any punches. In the third I found my rhythm and I started chipping away and then I caught him with that liver-kick.

MMANews.com: Going into a fight are you looking for the knockout or do you follow the game plan and see what happens?

Cung Le: Ever since I started training with Javier Mendez I never look for the knockout anymore. I just let it come naturally. If it goes three rounds, it goes three rounds. It’s all about getting the win.

MMANews.com: After the fight with Sam, Frank Shamrock finally accepted your challenge to fight him. What were your thoughts on that?


Cung Le discusses big win, possible Frank Shamrock fight…

Cung Le: Well I’m excited and I can’t wait. The only question now is when? Is Frank going to want to fight Renzo [Gracie] first or is he going to want to fight me first? I’m sure that he is going to want the fight with me to be on pay-per view so maybe he’ll want it in the second quarter of next year or even the end of the year.

MMANews.com: Is Strikeforce working on a pay-per view deal?

Cung Le: Yeah I believe the Strikeforce in March will be on pay-per view. I’m not too sure if Frank will be on that card though. I don’t know if we’ll do it with Pro-Elite or Showtime. I’m not too sure what the plans are right now. I just plan on taking some time off and I’ll maintain my conditioning and let my hand heal up a little bit. You know my last fight with Tony [Fryklund], I broke my knuckle and this time around my hand is sore from punching him in the head. I feel as if the gloves we use should have a little more padding. Three guys on my team that I teach have broken hands. One of the guys at AKA broke his hand a few weeks back. I know a lot of guys that are breaking their hands with those gloves so maybe they should add a little more padding.

MMANews.com: Like moving them up a couple more ounces?

Cung Le: Yeah, move them up a few ounces or develop a way to have more padding.

MMANews.com: That’s a great point. A lot of people are getting injured that way but not too many have really said much about it.

Cung Le: Exactly.

MMANews.com: Frank has talked about fighting Renzo first in the past. If that happens will you fight before a fight with Frank or will you wait it out?

Cung Le: I don’t know. It depends on what the promoter has in store for me. If a card comes up and they need me to fight I’m always in shape and I’m always ready to fight. I haven’t thought about who or when but I know there will be a Strikeforce in March and I’ll be ready to go. If Frank and I happen to fight I want to have some advance notice so I can prepare. It all comes down to negotiations with Frank. He pretty much is in control of this fight. He says he accepts my challenge – but when? When does he accept the challenge for? When is it going to happen? I’m sure Frank and I both think alike when It comes to business and the more time there is, the more there is to promote.

MMANews.com: Do the mind games that come with Frank bother you?

Cung Le: Well I know that Frank was trying to get inside my head Friday but I wasn’t phased at all. I felt that everything was fun.

MMANews.com: Yeah. I was just watching it again before I called you.

Cung Le: Frank can’t get into my head. When it comes down to it there is going to be no advantage in getting into my head. If he starts disrespecting me it is only going to elevate my game because I try to do all of my talking in the ring. The more he talks, the better I get. The only thing I have to say to him is – “Thank You Frank. Now let’s finally do this.”

MMANews.com: Are there any movies you are working on now?

Cung Le: Yeah, you can look me up on www.imdb.com. I just finished filming with Terrance Howard and Channing Tatum in a movie called “Fighting.” It should be released next year in the second quarter. I have a really good part in the movie.

MMANews.com: Ok, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

Cung Le: I just want to thank everyone for the support. I’d also like to thank my sponsors, Throwdown, Knoxx Gear, Mygride.com, Zebra Matts and BRflooring.com.

MMANews.com: Alright. I look forward to your next fight and congratulations on the big win over the weekend.

Cung Le: Thank You, Chris.

Check out more exclusive MMANews.com interviews in the archive section by CLICKING HERE.

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