The Info List - Cung Le

Cung Le
Cung Le
(Vietnamese: Lê Cung; born May 25, 1972)[2] is a Vietnamese-born American actor, retired mixed martial artist and kickboxer. He competed as a middleweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), holding a record of 2–2 with the organization. In kickboxing and sanshou, he is a former International Kickboxing Federation Light Heavyweight World Champion, having a professional kickboxing record of 16–0 before moving to mixed martial arts (Le also held a kickboxing record of 17–0). He defeated Frank Shamrock to become the second Strikeforce Middleweight Champion before vacating the title to further pursue his acting career. Le is perhaps best known in mixed martial arts for competing in Strikeforce, holding a record of 7–1 with the organization before its demise.


1 Background 2 Sanshou and kickboxing career 3 Mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts

3.1 Strikeforce 3.2 Ultimate Fighting Championship

3.2.1 The Ultimate Fighter: China

3.3 Retirement from MMA

4 Acting career

4.1 Film and television credits

5 Personal life 6 Championships and accomplishments

6.1 Kickboxing 6.2 Submission grappling 6.3 Mixed martial arts 6.4 Amateur wrestling

7 Mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts
record 8 Kickboxing/ Sanshou record 9 See also 10 References 11 External links

Background[edit] Cung Lê was born in Saigon, South Vietnam
South Vietnam
(now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam). In 1975, three days before the Fall of Saigon, Cung Le
Cung Le
and his mother Anne left Vietnam
by helicopter under heavy gunfire.[4] Le's father stayed in Vietnam
and was caught as a prisoner.[5] After a few months in a refugee camp in the Philippines, Le ended up in San Jose, California, where early discrimination and bullying inspired him to learn martial arts.[6] His mother enrolled him in Tae Kwon Do classes at the age of 10.[7] Le began wrestling competitively at age 14. After being inspired to box by Sylvester Stallone´s Rocky, wrestling earned All-American honors in his junior year of high school[citation needed]. He went on to wrestle for West Valley College in Saratoga, California, and won the California Junior College State Championship in the 158 lb weight class in 1990 also earning junior college All-American honors. Le also is practiced in a variety of martial arts such as Kuntao, Vovinam
and Sambo. He began training in Sanshou (Sanda) and kickboxing around age of 19 because it complimented his Tae Kwon Do
Tae Kwon Do
and wrestling background[citation needed]. Le held a professional kickboxing record of 17–0 and is a three-time world champion in kickboxing. Sanshou and kickboxing career[edit] Le is undefeated in his Sanshou/kickboxing career (17–0).[8] He has won three US Open International Martial Arts Championships (1994, 1995, 1996). In 1998 he won the Shidokan tournament championship.[9] He has also won four US National Championships (Orlando, FL, 1994, Dallas, TX, 1995, Baltimore, MD, 1997). He earned three bronze medals in his amateur Sanshou world competition compiling an overall amateur record of 18–3. He has been a three-time captain of the United States teams that competed and was the U.S. team captain at the World Wushu Championships in 1997 (Italy) and 1999 (Hong Kong). On December 15, 2001 he defeated Shonie Carter
Shonie Carter
by unanimous decision in San Jose, California, to win the IKF International Kickboxing
Federation Pro Light Heavyweight Sanda World Title.[8] In May 2003, Le entered into K-1
competitions where he garnered a 3–0 career record, including one knockout.[8] Mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts
career[edit] Strikeforce[edit] Le made his mixed martial arts debut at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Gracie on March 10, 2006, at the HP Pavilion at San Jose, knocking out kickboxing rival Mike Altman at 3:51 of the first round. Le first met Altman in San Jose, in 1999, in a kickboxing bout where he defeated Altman via a body shot in the third round. Three months later he faced KOTC veteran Brian Warren, knocking him out at 4:19 of the first round. Le had also faced Warren in a K-1
Sanshou bout where he won by decision. At Strikeforce: Triple Threat on December 8, 2006, Le defeated UFC veteran Jason Von Flue
Jason Von Flue
in 0:43 of round one, when the fight had to be stopped due to a cut from a kick. Le went on to fight Tony Fryklund. Le beat Fryklund via TKO due to strikes late in the third round. Soon after Le fought Sammy Morgan at Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives where he won the bout via TKO. On March 29, 2008, Le defeated long time MMA veteran Frank Shamrock
Frank Shamrock
in a fight co-promoted by Strikeforce and EliteXC
at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. Le won via TKO when Frank Shamrock's right arm ( ulna) was broken after a series of kicks, making him the new Strikeforce Middleweight Champion. On September 17, 2009, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced that Le had relinquished his belt after securing a major motion picture deal.[10] Twenty-one months after his last fight, Le returned to Strikeforce to face Scott Smith at Strikeforce: Evolution on December 19, 2009. Le suffered his first MMA defeat there, losing via TKO at 3:25 of the third round. After the match, Le expressed interest in an immediate rematch with Smith. His wish was granted on June 26, Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum, in which Le defeated Smith via TKO in the second round to avenge his only MMA loss at the time.[11] Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit] Le has said that it is basically the UFC or bust for him at this point in his fighting career. “I know for a fact that if I do fight again, it’s going to be in the UFC. I’ve never fought in the UFC, but I would love to fight in the UFC. But right now because of my contract with Showtime and Strikeforce, hopefully things can work out because there is a show in San Jose that Cain Velasquez is the main event. I would love to fight in San Jose for the UFC ....”[12] In an interview with BloodyElbow on October 27, 2012, Le revealed he originally signed a six-fight contract with the UFC.[13] Le was briefly linked to a matchup with Vitor Belfort
Vitor Belfort
on November 19, 2011, at UFC 139.[14] However, Belfort was removed from the bout and replaced by former Pride FC Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva.[15] Le managed to confuse Silva with his unorthodox kicks, and landed a spinning backfist that dropped Silva. During the second round, Silva managed to shake Le with huge punches and knees that completely broke Le's nose. Le was stunned, bloodied and fell to the ground, and the fight was stopped by the referee.[16] Afterwards, in the press conference, Dana White commented that it was a good stoppage and that Cung was taken to the hospital. Le was scheduled to face former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin on July 7, 2012, at UFC 148.[17] However, due to an injury to headliner Vitor Belfort, Franklin instead faced Wanderlei Silva
Wanderlei Silva
in a 190 lb catchweight rematch on June 23, 2012 at UFC 147.[18] Le instead faced former title contender Patrick Côté.[19] He earned his first UFC win via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). Le faced Rich Franklin
Rich Franklin
in the main event on November 10, 2012, at UFC: Macao.[20] Cung Le
Cung Le
won the fight via KO with a powerful hook punch to Franklin's head at 2:17 of the first round. The Ultimate Fighter: China[edit] In November 2013, it was announced that Le would serve as the chief coach and mentor on The Ultimate Fighter: China, the China-based version of The Ultimate Fighter
The Ultimate Fighter
which began airing in December 2013.[21] After over a year-and-a-half of being away from competition, Le faced Michael Bisping
Michael Bisping
on August 23, 2014, at UFC Fight Night
UFC Fight Night
48.[22] After an even start, Le was cut around both eyes in the second round, as Bisping began to land the more powerful strikes. Bisping eventually won the one sided fight via TKO in the fourth round.[23] Following the fight, Le tested positive for elevated levels of HGH
and was subsequently suspended from competition for nine months.[24] However, after reevaluating the evidence against Le, the UFC increased his suspension to 12 months.[25] There has been some dispute of the test, as the testing laboratory in question was not WADA-approved, did not do the appropriate HGH
test,[26] and destroyed the blood sample before confirmatory tests could be done.[27] Ultimately, on October 21, the UFC reversed their decision and rescinded Le's suspension in light of the aforementioned flaws.[28] On December 3, 2014, Le told the media that he instructed his manager to request Le's release from UFC due to the drug-test dispute.[29] On December 16, 2014, Le was listed as one of three MMA fighters who filed a class-action lawsuit against Zuffa, LLC., the parent company of the UFC. The suit alleges that the UFC participated in anti-competitive practices that hindered fighters and their mixed martial arts careers. At the time Le was the only active fighter on the organization's roster to be involved in the lawsuit.[30] Retirement from MMA[edit] On January 20, 2015, his manager, Gary Ibarra, announced to the media that Le had retired from MMA. Le's decision came after reconsidering his career with his family. He had previously expressed his lack of desire to fight in the UFC and contemplated retirement following the performance-enhancing drug disputes he had with the promotion in 2014. Le believed that the UFC owed him an apology for accusing him of using drugs when the test results later turned out to be faulty. Le, however, said that his retirement was only in MMA. He talked about the possibility of returning to professional kickboxing competitions, where he was active prior to his MMA debut.[31] Acting career[edit] Le co-starred in the live-action Tekken film, based upon the popular martial arts fighting game, as Marshall Law, released November 5, 2009 for the American film market. Le had supporting roles in the science fiction film Pandorum
with Dennis Quaid
Dennis Quaid
and Ben Foster, and Fighting, released in 2009 alongside Channing Tatum. He also starred in a Hong Kong martial arts film Bodyguards and Assassins, which was released on December 18, 2009; his film was the first time he worked with and had a fight scene with Hong Kong martial arts superstar Donnie Yen.[citation needed] He also appeared in a Vietnamese music show Paris By Night 99
Paris By Night 99
– Tôi Là Người Việt Nam where he was interviewed by Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen; this show also marked one of the few times Le has spoken Vietnamese on camera.[citation needed] Le had a lead role in the 2012 action film Dragon Eyes, costarring Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jean-Claude Van Damme
and produced by Joel Silver. The movie is based on the Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa
classic Yojimbo and is "MMA-themed".[32] Also in 2012, Le played Bronze Lion in The Man with the Iron Fists, a film directed by RZA. In 2014, he starred in Puncture Wounds, an action film directed by Giorgio Serafini, co-directed and written by James Coyne.[33] In 2015, he appeared as an abbot in the AMC TV series Into the Badlands. He is set to appear in the action movie Savage Dog alongside martial artists and action stars Scott Adkins
Scott Adkins
and Marko Zaror.[citation needed] Film and television credits[edit]

Year Title Role Notes

1997 Sleight of Hand Victor

2001 Walker, Texas Ranger Himself TV series episode: "Legends"

2004 Kwoon Mort Ission Direct-to-video

2006 Dark Assassin The Assassin

2007 Blizhniy Boy: The Ultimate Fighter Erik

2009 Fighting Dragon Le

Pandorum Manh

Bodyguards and Assassins Sa Zhen-Shan

Tekken Marshall Law

2010 True Legend Militia Leader

NCIS: Los Angeles Himself TV series episode: "Hand-to-Hand"

2012 Dragon Eyes Ryan Hong

The Man with the Iron Fists Bronze Lion

2013 The Grandmasters Tiexieqi

2014 The Ultimate Fighter: China Mentor Reality TV series

Puncture Wounds John Nguyen

2015–2017 Into the Badlands Cyan / Abbot 1 TV series; 4 episodes

2015 Hawaii Five-0 Yakuza member TV series episode: "Pa'a Ka 'ipuka I Ka 'Upena Nananana"

2017 Savage Dog

alongside Scott Adkins
Scott Adkins
and Marko Zaror

Security Dead Eyes

Personal life[edit] Le has two sons with his ex-wife.[34] He and his second wife were married in August 2009.[35] The couple had their first child together in 2010.[36] Championships and accomplishments[edit]


International Kickboxing

IKF Sanshou World Light Heavyweight Championship (one time)

International Sport Karate Association

ISKA Sanshou North American Light Heavyweight Sanshou Championship (one time) ISKA Sanshou U.S. Light Heavyweight Championship (one time) ISKA Sanshou U.S. Light Cruiserweight Championship (one time)

Ho Tet Tae Kwon Do

Ho Tet Tae Kwon Do
Tae Kwon Do
Tournament 1994 Grand Champion

USA International World Championships

1996 Continuous Sparring Tae Kwon Do
Tae Kwon Do
World Champion

World Wide Draka Federation

1998 Draka Tournament winner

Shidokan Cup Bare-Knuckle Full Contact Karate

1998 Shidokan Cup U.S. Tournament winner

International Wushu Federation

1999 WUF World Wushu Championships Sanshou bronze medalist 1997 WUF World Wushu Championships Sanshou bronze medalist 1995 WUF World Wushu Championships Sanshou bronze medalist

Black Belt Magazine

2007 Kung Fu Artist of the Year [37]

Submission grappling[edit]

Amateur Athletic Union

AAU Espoir Sambo National Championship (1989)

Mixed martial arts[edit]


Strikeforce Middleweight Championship (one time) Tied most finishes in Strikeforce (7) Most knockouts in Strikeforce (7)

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Fight of the Night (one time) Knockout of the Night (one time)


2012 Knockout of the Year vs. Rich Franklin
Rich Franklin
on November 10[38]

Inside MMA

2008 Fight of the Year Bazzie Award vs. Frank Shamrock
Frank Shamrock
on March 29

Amateur wrestling[edit]

California Community College Athletic Association

CCCAA State Championship (1990) CCCAA All-State (1990) West Valley College wrestling team captain (1990, 1991)

California Interscholastic Federation

CIF All-State (1989)

Amateur Athletic Union

AAU Espoir Freestyle National Championship (1989) AAU Espoir Greco-Roman National Championship (1989)

Mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts

Professional record breakdown

12 matches 9 wins 3 losses

By knockout 8 3

By submission 0 0

By decision 1 0

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes

Loss 9–3 Michael Bisping TKO (knee and punches) UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Le 000000002014-08-23-0000August 23, 2014 4 0:57 Macau, SAR, China

Win 9–2 Rich Franklin KO (punch) UFC on Fuel TV: Franklin vs. Le 000000002012-11-10-0000November 10, 2012 1 2:17 Macau, SAR, China Knockout of the Night; Knockout of the Year (2012).

Win 8–2 Patrick Côté Decision (unanimous) UFC 148 000000002012-07-07-0000July 7, 2012 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Loss 7–2 Wanderlei Silva TKO (knees and punches) UFC 139 000000002011-11-19-0000November 19, 2011 2 4:49 San Jose, California, United States Fight of the Night.

Win 7–1 Scott Smith TKO (spinning back kick and punches) Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum 000000002010-06-26-0000June 26, 2010 2 1:46 San Jose, California, United States

Loss 6–1 Scott Smith KO (punches) Strikeforce: Evolution 000000002009-12-19-0000December 19, 2009 3 3:25 San Jose, California, United States

Win 6–0 Frank Shamrock TKO (broken arm) Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Le 000000002008-03-29-0000March 29, 2008 3 5:00 San Jose, California, United States Won Strikeforce Middleweight Championship; later vacated title; Fight of the Year (2008).

Win 5–0 Sammy Morgan TKO (body kick) Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives 000000002007-11-16-0000November 16, 2007 3 1:58 San Jose, California, United States

Win 4–0 Tony Fryklund TKO (body kick and punches) Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni 000000002007-06-22-0000June 22, 2007 3 0:25 San Jose, California, United States

Win 3–0 Jason Von Flue TKO (doctor stoppage) Strikeforce: Triple Threat 000000002006-12-08-0000December 8, 2006 1 0:43 San Jose, California, United States

Win 2–0 Brian Warren KO (punches) Strikeforce: Revenge 000000002006-06-09-0000June 9, 2006 1 4:19 San Jose, California, United States

Win 1–0 Mike Altman KO (punch) Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Gracie 000000002006-03-10-0000March 10, 2006 1 3:51 San Jose, California, United States

Kickboxing/ Sanshou record[edit]

Sanshou kickboxing record

17 wins (12 KOs), 0 losses

Result Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes

Win 17–0 Brian Ebersole Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce 000000002005-06-04-0000June 4, 2005 5 N/A San Jose, California

Win 16–0 Brian Warren Decision (unanimous) K-1
World Grand Prix 2004 in Las Vegas I 000000002004-04-30-0000April 30, 2004 4 2:00 Las Vegas, Nevada

Win 15–0 Phil Petit Decision (unanimous) K-1
World Grand Prix 2003 in Las Vegas II 000000002003-08-15-0000August 15, 2003 4 2:00 Las Vegas, Nevada

Win 14–0 Scott Sheely TKO (strikes) K-1
World Grand Prix 2003 in Las Vegas 000000002003-05-02-0000May 2, 2003 2 1:13 Las Vegas, Nevada

Win 13–0 Shonie Carter Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce 000000002001-12-15-0000December 15, 2001 5 N/A San Jose, California Won IKF World Light Heavyweight Sanshou Championship

Win 12–0 Jeff Thornhill KO (spinning back fist) Strikeforce 000000002000-09-15-0000September 15, 2000 3 N/A San Jose, California Won ISKA North American Light Heavyweight Championship

Win 11–0 Laimon M. Keita Decision (unanimous) K-1
USA Championships 2000 000000002000-08-05-0000August 5, 2000 5 3:00 Las Vegas, Nevada Defended ISKA U.S. Light Heavyweight Sanshou Championship

Win 10–0 Mike Altman KO (double roundhouse kick) Strikeforce 000000002000-05-13-0000May 13, 2000 3 0:30 San Jose, California Defended ISKA Light Cruiserweight Sanshou Championship

Win 9–0 Na Shun Gerile TKO (scissor kick) Art of War: China vs. USA 000000001999-01-01-00001999 3 N/A Honolulu, Hawaii

Win 8–0 Scott Sheely TKO (broken cheek bone) Strikeforce 000000001999-05-15-0000May 15, 1999 2 0:59 San Jose, California Won ISKA U.S. Light Heavyweight Sanshou Championship

Win 7–0 Dan Garett KO (body kick) Strikeforce 000000001998-10-10-0000October 10, 1998 3 0:20 San Jose, California Won ISKA Light Cruiserweight Sanshou Championship

Win 6–0 Arne Soldwedel KO (right hook) 1998 Shidokan Cup 000000001998-08-29-0000August 29, 1998 7 N/A Chicago, Illinois Won Shidokan Team USA Championship, 1998 U.S. Shidokan Cup final

Win 5–0 Laimon M. Keita Submission (foot lock) 1998 Shidokan Cup 000000001998-08-29-0000August 29, 1998 2 N/A Chicago, Illinois 1998 U.S. Shidokan Cup semifinal

Win 4–0 Ben Harris KO (spinning hook kick) 1998 Shidokan Cup 000000001998-08-29-0000August 29, 1998 2 N/A Chicago, Illinois 1998 U.S. Shidokan Cup quarterfinal

Win 3–0 Minaru Taro KO (head kick) Draka V 000000001998-05-24-0000May 24, 1998 1 N/A Los Angeles, California 1998 Draka Tournament final

Win 2–0 Gaik Isrelyan Decision (unanimous) Draka V 000000001998-05-24-0000May 24, 1998 5 N/A Los Angeles, California 1998 Draka Tournament semifinal

Win 1–0 Jason Yee Decision (unanimous) 1997 Kung Fu Championships 000000001997-08-31-0000August 31, 1997 5 N/A Orlando, Florida

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

See also[edit]

List of current UFC fighters


^ " Cung Le
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video: Emotional Cung Le
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on his escape from Saigon and growing up without a father". 10 August 2014.  ^ "Cung Le". UFC. Retrieved 2016-08-03.  ^ Cheng, Mark (2001-01-01). "Rising Son". Black Belt: 49.  ^ a b c The Official Cung Le
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TKOs Scott Smith. MMA Fighting. Retrieved on 2010-08-27. ^ "It's UFC or Bust for Former Strikeforce Champ Cung Le". MMAWeekly.com. July 25, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-25.  ^ "UFC Macao: Cung Le
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says he's fighting Cung Le
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at UFC 139
UFC 139
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UFC 139
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Vitor Belfort
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Wanderlei Silva
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Cung Le
at UFC 139
UFC 139
- Cagewriter - UFC Blog - Yahoo! Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2011-11-27.  ^ " Rich Franklin
Rich Franklin
Vs. Cung Le
Cung Le
On Tap For UFC 148
UFC 148
On July 7th". bloodyelbow.com. March 18, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2012.  ^ " Rich Franklin
Rich Franklin
steps into UFC 147
UFC 147
headliner against Wanderlei Silva". mmajunkie.com. May 30, 2012. Archived from the original on June 1, 2012. Retrieved May 30, 2012.  ^ " Cung Le
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Vs. Cung Le
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headlines August Macau
card, Hector Lombard vs. Dong Hyun Kim to serve as co-main event". MMAfighting.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24.  ^ Buster Evans (2014-08-23). " UFC Fight Night 48
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UFC Fight Night
Macau". mmaweekly.com. September 30, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-30.  ^ Iole, Kevin (1 October 2014). " Cung Le
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tests positive for HGH, receives one-year ban from UFC". Yahoo News. Retrieved 2 October 2014.  ^ "Top scientist says to ignore Cung Le's HGH
test result". Bloody Elbow. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.  ^ Marrocco, Steven (7 October 2014). "UFC remains steadfast in Cung Le's test result, but lab failed to meet WADA criteria". USA Today. Retrieved 8 October 2014.  ^ Al-Shatti, Shaun (21 October 2014). "Cung Le's suspension for elevated levels of HGH
rescinded by UFC". MMAFighting. Retrieved 21 October 2014.  ^ Dave Doyle (December 3, 2014). " Cung Le
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External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cung Le.

Official website IKF San Shou Professional MMA record for Cung Le
Cung Le
from Sherdog Cung Le
Cung Le
on IMDb Profile[permanent dead link] at K-1 ConvictedArtist.com Interview with Cung Le

Preceded by Frank Shamrock 2nd Strikeforce Middleweight Champion March 29, 2008 – September 17, 2009 Vacant Le stepped down due to filming obligations Title next held by Jake Shields

v t e

Strikeforce Middleweight Champions

Frank Shamrock Cung Le Jake Shields Ronaldo Souza Luke Rockhold

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 58842394 LCCN: no2006099842 ISNI: 0000 0000 4700 2987 BNF: cb1662