Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star and undefeated sanshou (wushu contact fighting) fighter Cung Le said that Filipino mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters should improve their ground game by training in wrestling. Le visited the Philippines last week for a charity event for the survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan).
“I’m not familiar with any Filipino fighters but I know how they fight since most Asian fighters are into wushu sanshou. They are good strikers. They punch hard and kick hard,” Le told The Manila Times in an interview on Thursday. The most prominent Filipino MMA fighters today like Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Honorio Banario and Dave Galera, just like Le, came from sanshou before entering MMA.
“I saw the lack of wrestling in a Filipino fighter when I watched a UFC fight early this year in Singapore,” said Le, referring to Galera’s defeat via unanimous decision to Singaporean Royston Wee. “He had no answer to the takedowns, but he hit hard and he’s a promising fighter,” said Le, 41, who was born in Saigon, South Vietnam but grew up in San Jose California.
“Filipino fighters should train smart and avoid being burned out. They must listen to their body,” said Le. “At the same, they must also have a healthy diet. If they do these things, they will be successful in their MMA career.”
Le fought in the UFC in 2012 and got two impressive wins against Rich Franklin by knockout in November 2012, in Macau, China and against Patrick Cote by unanimous decision in July 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada USA.
“I represented America in different wushu and MMA competitions. I also fight for my fellow Asians,” said Le, who’s also an actor.
When asked if he has a plan to fight in the UFC again, Le replied: “Yes, I want to return this year in the UFC and fight Michael Bisping or Wanderlei Silva.”
Besides his foundational skills in sanshou, Le also has a background in karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, tae kwon do and wrestling.