41 year old Sanshou Kickboxing legend Cung Le is more than likely off to the Far East and as a coach on TUF: China.
In speaking with “MMAjunkie.com Radio” Le said:
“I’m here to help out any way I can with UFC in China, I think it’s a huge market and once they break into there, it’s truly going to be global.”
Although excited for the (as of yet unannounced) opportunity, Le would rather be fighting. Cung had been seeking a bout with fellow UFC middleweight Michael Bisping, but that fight failed to materialize and instead, “The Count” was matched with Mark Munoz (October 26th in Manchester).
However, a lengthy layoff (fought last November) and not having a fight lined-up, is allowing him to heal-up a nagging elbow injury and will allow him to coach without any problems. Cung remarked:
“I’m back in the gym now and training. The elbow is getting better, but I still can’t take it to that max limit yet. I’m hitting pads, and I think the next step is to wrestle and grapple a little bit. But I’m hitting pads and doing a lot of what we call situational sparring.”
In terms of what he wants for the rest of his career its simple, after his coaching duties are fulfilled he wants “big fights, big names, main events, co-main events” and that’s it.
On the heels of that though and almost as a tacit acknowledgment to his age, Le said that he hasn’t put much thought into it and the he’s “just excited to still be part of the sport and coming off a big win.”
All of it considered, Le is still viable in the 185 division, but a title run is probably not in the cards. That said, it will be interesting to follow the rest of his career and to see which fighter the UFC places in the second coaching job.
Personally, I thought Bisping was the best choice going, as he hails from the UK and the British have some history in the region. Sadly, it’s not to be the case.
As an option, perhaps Dan Hardy could come up from 170 and join Le on TUF: China. He too has had a long layoff, is in need of a fight and as he is British, he could easily fill the roll Bisping would have.