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Cung Le: Actor First, Fighter Second



An article up today at MMA Weekly carries the curious headline, "Cung Le Not Ready to Ditch Real Fighting," a headline intended to suggest that Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le plans to continue his MMA career rather than turn his attention full-time to acting. But let's be honest here: Le is an actor, not a fighter.

In fact, you just need to read all the way to the bottom of the article, the part that deals with when Le might actually fight again, for that to become crystal clear:
Le doesn't offer a timetable. His other gig is going full steam.

"I definitely plan on returning to the cage as soon as possible, but right now I have a couple of things in the works," he said.
Le will turn 37 this month, and he hasn't fought in more than a year, and he's still not willing to offer a timetable for when we're going to see him in the cage again? Then why don't we all just accept that he's an actor and not a fighter? And why doesn't Strikeforce free up the middleweight title for someone to earn it in the cage? Middleweight is the most talented division Strikeforce has, and it's ridiculous that they can't put on any title fights because their champion is a thespian.

Last month I asked Frank Shamrock if he thinks Le is primarily an actor and not a fighter, and Shamrock put it succinctly: "Oh, yeah," Shamrock said. "Definitely. If he wasn't he'd be here defending his title."

But instead of defending his title, Le is talking about his other "things in the works." That's not what a champion is supposed to do. I don't begrudge Le wanting to pursue acting instead of fighting. If that's how he chooses to make his living, who am I to say he shouldn't? The problem I have is that Le and Strikeforce aren't leveling with their fans. The middleweight champion has stopped fighting, and that means he should no longer be the middleweight champion.