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Cung Le: Why He Can’t Be A Successful Part-Time Fighter

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Photo by Mitch Viquez/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Michael Bisping knocked out Cung Le over the weekend, something most MMA observers saw coming.

Forget Le’s incredible physique going into the fight. (He’s most certainly clean by the way; anyone who knows Le knows that he’s not a cheater). Bodies don’t win fights. If bodies won fights, Kimbo Slice and Brock Lesnar would be trading the UFC heavyweight championship back and forth.

No skill wins fight, and the truth is that Le was rusty. The other truth is that Le is not a complete MMA fighter. He’s a kickboxer. At one time, probably the best kickboxer int the world. Le only jumped MMA because MMA was hot and there was a chance for him to make money.

Le, however, is somewhat of a sad story in that even with his late start, he could have been something great in MMA. He never really caught on though.

Prior to Saturday, Le’s most recent fight was in Nov. of 2012 when knocked out Rich Franklin. That fight lasted 2:17 seconds. Before that he went three rounds with Patrick Cote in January of 2012. Le had only been inside the cage 2:17 seconds for more than two years prior to fighting Michael Bisping.

Those aren’t good odds for a 42-year-old guy. Le has been knocked out badly three times since 2009.

He fought once in 2009, once in 2010, once in 2011, twice in 2012, not at all in 2013, and once in 2014. You can’t be great fighting at that pace. Le had movie opportunities which kept him away form the cage.

MMA is serious business and it’s unfortunate that Le chose movies over MMA. He could have been a Ronda Rousey-like character who revolutionizes the sport. When Le is on, he’s really exciting to watch. He has movie-style kicks. He kicks hard. He’s thrilling to watch. But he doesn’t fight enough for anyone to know it. Part of it is the UFC’s fault. The UFC should have put Le on every UFC on FOX show to show him off. On television regularly, Le would have taken off.

Instead, he’s the guy that Michael Bisping knocked out in China, on a card few people saw because it was on Saturday morning.

If Le wants to achieve his potential he needs to commit to fighting one more time this year and three times in 2015. He needs to find his hunger again. Nobody in MMA is so good that they just walk into the cage after two years away and expect to win.

Le needs to become a full-time fighter. Part-time fighting doesn’t seem to work.