Between fighting and movies
The first UFC MACAO bout is to kick off tomorrow at the Venetian Macau. As one of the fastest growing sports organizations in the world, the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) aim to find “the Ultimate Fighting Champion” with a tournament of the best athletes skilled in the various disciplines of all martial arts, including karate, jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, grappling, wrestling, sumo and other combat sports. The winner of the tournament will be crowned the champion.
Established in 1993, it is the 19th year of operation for the professional mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. UFC has revolutionized the fighting business, and today stands as the world’s leading MMA promoter, offering a premier series of MMA sporting events.
Cung Le, one of the fighters who will compete on Saturday, is a South Vietnamese-born American mixed martial artist and former kickboxer currently contending as a middleweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In Sanshou (Sanda), he became the former International Kickboxing Federation light heavyweight world champion, with a professional Sanshou record of 16-0 before moving to mixed martial arts. Meanwhile, he has also been working as an actor.
MDT - Do you feel that it’s difficult competing with western fighters? Since most people’s impression is that they are much stronger than Asian competitors.
Cung Le - I am a wrestler. I wrestled in high school and college. I started from traditional martial arts, but I was well trained in the different schools before I joined UFC. I think I am strong enough to win.
MDT - You went to college but did not get a degree, can I ask why?
Le - I went to West Valley Junior College for two years. I stopped so that I could train in martial arts and got into Sanda. (One style of martial arts that developed in China.) I majored in nutrition when I was in school.
MDT - Before joining the UFC, what was your biggest achievement?
Le - I was a former champion for Strikeforce Middleweight. And I was also doing movies.
MDT: When did you start doing movies?
Le - I have been doing movies since 2005 and have acted in several films like Bodyguards and Assassins, True Legend, Pandorum. etc. I worked with actors and directors like Donnie Yen, Woo-ping Yuen, and Wong Kar-Wai.
MDT - Comparing acting in movies with fighting, which do you prefer?
Le - I like both. Fighting is definitely harder, and movies take longer hours, but you don’t get punched in the face.
MDT - Can you get a balance between both your favorites?
Le - I tried to, but it didn’t work out well. So now I either do fighting or movies.
MDT - What are your plans for the future?
Le - In the future I will be doing movies. I can’t fight forever.
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