At 40, Cung Le doesn’t need to fight anymore, but he still loves stepping in the cage.
On Saturday, he’ll walk into the Octagon for the second time to take on Patrick Cote at UFC 148. Before the matchup, Le joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show to discuss fighting, acting and more.
Le on competing at 40: “I actually feel kind of proud for being 40 years old, still competing at a high level. I mean, my last sparring session, my first sparring partner was 26 years old. My next one was 31 and my last one was 32 or 33, and I felt like I dominated. Every guy was fresh. It was just last Thursday, and I dominated every round. For me, I feel like I’m repping all the 40-year-old guys, and actually 40 is the new 30s.”
On critics saying he’s more of an actor than a fighter: “I think that’s a small percentage of people who would say that, but there’s a huge percentage that still want to see me fight. I know when to stop and when to say, ‘OK, let’s call this and move on,’ but I feel like I still can compete at a high level and that’s why I’m still competing.”
On what’s harder, fighting or acting: “Preparing for the fight is harder on the body, but making a movie is harder on me because I’m away from my family, away from my kids.”
On his loss to Wanderlei Silva: “It’s not like Wanderlei was beating my ass from beginning to end. I felt like I won the first round. I was doing pretty good in the second round and I got caught in the last 30 seconds of the second round. In the fight game, things happen.”
On training hard after being away while acting: “Take nothing away from Wanderlei. He had a great game plan. Watching all his tapes, who could ever predict that he was going to get on his bicycle and move backward? And for me ... coming off doing all these movies and jumping right back into hardcore training with all the tough guys and all the talent at AKA, I was banged up like every other week. My main sparring partner was ‘King Mo’ [Lawal]. He was just such a bruiser. It felt like I could never recover after hardcore sparring and wrestling. My body broke down before the fight got there.”
On fighting Patrick Cote: “The key thing for me in this one is coming in in good shape and focusing on not over-training and not getting injured. That was the two keys in this training camp.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:10:50).