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Cung Le talks Frank Shamrock, Anderson Silva

Most martial arts fans know of Cung Le's Sanshou kickboxing prowess. After all, the man is undefeated in that style of kickboxing. That said, the undefeated record only tells part of the story on his Sanshou prowess.

Just check out one of those ESPN reruns for the rest of it. Le simply brings an unheard of level of excitement to those kickboxing matches with explosive throws, strikes, and especially that patented scissor kick of his (where he whips his heel into his opponent's stomach while at the same time using his other leg to sweep them).

So the question when he started his MMA career on March 10, 2006 was, can he bring those unorthodox striking skills to the cage with the same exciting results?

After five mixed martial arts encounters, it seems that the answer is a resounding yes. And now fresh off a victory over Sam Morgan at the Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives event on November 16, 2007,'s Robert Rousseau was lucky enough to get a chance to talk with him. The topics?

How about the possibility of really getting in a cage with Frank Shamrock and hypothetically getting in one with UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson "The Spider" Silva? First thing's first. . . Congratulations on the win over Sam Morgan. Did that fight go down how you expected it to?

Cung Le: I think he came out swinging for the fences. I didn't expect those looping punches. . . He got a couple of shots in and I just shook them off and pressed the action. I took what he gave me. What do you think that victory meant to your MMA career thus far?

Cung Le: Every time I win it's always good for the career, you know. I was just happy that I was able to pull off a spectacular knockout at the end. I showed a lot in the fight. I know a lot of people expect more from my ground game, (but) I haven't been in that situation a lot. (I was just) taking my time, having fun, trying to listen to my corner, and not get over excited. Definitely. Obviously after the fight there was a lot of talk?and there's been a lot of talk?about you and Frank Shamrock going at it in the cage in the future. In fact, after the bout Shamrock seemed to indicate that he wanted to do it. What do you think the possibility of that fight happening is, and is there anything to report on it?

Cung Le: I believe that fight is going to happen. It could happen in March at the next Strikeforce event in San Jose. Anything could happen; I don't know. (Still) I have a strong feeling that's what's going to happen. That would be great, especially in San Jose.

Cung Le: I know it's just the end of the year and people are going to wind down a little bit. For me, I'm going to wind it up and keep my training going? not burn out?but keep my cardio going (and) get my strength up even more so I can break out of those guards and get back up on my feet if I need to. So watch out. I've read that you have a past training history with Frank Shamrock. Tell me about that.

Cung Le: I trained with him a lot before. I trained with him the fight before he fought Tito (Ortiz) and the fight while he fought Tito. I did a lot of sparring with him standing up. We never went down to the ground except when I threw him. He's a tough guy. I know that going up against him in what he does is going to be a big step up in competition for me. (Still) I'm looking forward to it and like my chances. That's awesome. You talked about ground fighting with Sam Morgan a little, and that's really the most ground fighting you've had in MMA thus far. If you ended up on the ground with Frank Shamrock?and I know that it's a tall order getting you there?how confident are you that you could get up or survive?

Cung Le: I don't know if he's going to get me to the ground; I don't predict the future. I couldn't tell you what would happen. But I'm telling you what I would try to do (which) is pop right back up, protect my neck, and protect my limbs because I know that he's going to want to rip them off. That's basically what I would have to do. I've got to ask you this question because I've seen this written about all over the place at forums. Obviously, right now Strikeforce, EliteXC, and other organizations are all trying to get up to the level of the UFC. And speaking of the UFC, they have a middleweight champion that you know probably pretty well by the name of Anderson Silva, who is known for his striking skills. How well do you know Anderson Silva in terms of fighting, and what are your thoughts on a stand up fight with him? I know that it's all very hypothetical.

Cung Le: I like the way Anderson fights. He's a very exciting fighter to watch. If there would ever be the possibility of a fight with him, I think that my stand up matches very well against him. He's very long. He's well balanced with his punches, kicks, and knees but so am I. I come from different angles, and I'm not one to be afraid to engage in a stand up battle with him. A lot of other fighters, they go in there and don't like to engage with him, and they make mistakes. I'd go in there and have fun. I've been in plenty of stand up fights in my amateur and professional career as a San Shou fighter and K-1 fighter. I have just as much experience standing up as Anderson Silva does. It would be an awesome, awesome fight to be a part of.

Right now (though) I'm going to take one fight at a time. I have a lot of respect for Anderson. Just because I respect him doesn't mean I fear him. It sounds like you have a lot of confidence that the Frank Shamrock fight is going off and fans are going to really like hearing that. If not Frank Shamrock, though, is there anyone else that you would like to tangle with?

Cung Le: I think the highest profile fight that I can get. . . It's a good time. I feel very confident in my abilities with my stand up and even with my ground game to put on a good fight. A lot of fighters can probably do a better job?I'm not saying any specific fighter?but a lot of fighters go in there and don't want to take certain risks and do certain things. I'm a risky fighter and that makes for more exciting fights. (This makes my fights) more like the kind that fans like to watch. Yeah, and that's actually one of the reasons I think they like you so much. You are so exciting on your feet and do kind of go for it in there. Beyond that, do you have anything you'd like to say to the fans?

Cung Le: I just want to say thank you for accepting me as an MMA fighter. I'm just happy to be competing and to be performing to the best of my ability right now. I hope to put on a lot more exciting fights and great performances for all the fans out there.

Also, after my fighting career I'll probably do some entertainment. My training camp for Sam Morgan was broken up a little bit because I finished my filming with Terrence Howard and Channing Tatum for this movie called "Fighting." It's going to be released on the big screen next year. They ended up calling me back because they wanted to add a little more? a shot in the beginning and the end? to expand my role a little bit. So I just wanted you to say that if you also want to follow what I'm doing in the entertainment business you can look me up at under Cung Le. What is "Fighting" about?

Cung Le: Channing Tatum is a Division 1 college wrestler that ends up selling some bootleg DVD's trying to make it on the streets of New York. He gets into a street fight with a couple of guys from Terrence Howard's crew and he ends up taking him under his management to fight underground fights. It's a pretty good story with some good actors in there. I think it will do well in the theatres. Sounds good. Thanks for talking to me and I look forward to talking to you again in the future.

Cung Le: Sounds good. I'll talk to you soon.

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