Cung Le knows what it is like to wear gold, having held the Strikeforce title previously in his career.
This weekend, Le returns to the Octagon for the first time since a 2012 knockout of Rich Franklin at UFC Fight Night 48 to do battle with Michael Bisping. The entire card, including the Bisping-Le main event, airs on Fight Pass.
Having taken over a year off, Le (9-2) is ready to make the most of his bout in China.
“Right now, I’m thinking of the Bisping fight as my championship fight in the UFC,” he said. “It is a main event in an amazing venue, it is five rounds and will be seen around the world on UFC Fight Pass; and it’s against one of the most recognizable names in the UFC.
“I got to the UFC very late in my career, so this to me if my championship fight. This is on the same level as my fight for the Strikeforce belt against Frank Shamrock in 2008. That’s how I see it and that’s how I’ve prepared. I think beating Bisping in a main event matters, a lot of people will see the fight and the result will stand out on my career (record).”
Le has fought three times with the promotion since signing in 2011, falling to Wanderlei Silva and defeating Patrick Cote. Overall, he has competed just five times since that 2008 win over Shamrock for the title due to filming several movies.
“My film career isn’t what this is about, fighting in the UFC at the highest level is what I am interested in. I have competed in martial arts since I was 10 years old, 32 years of competition and most of it was competing just for the love of martial arts. I didn’t make money from competing all over the world in Shidokan or Wushu or any of the martial arts I practiced; I did it because I love martial arts,” he said. “That’s the reason I am still doing this, because I love it. I’m not back to promote a movie, or to increase my brand or any of that stuff Bisping claims. I am back in the Octagon because that’s exactly what I want to do. I’ve been out for two years because of injury; I had three elbow surgeries that’s the only reason I have been out this last few years.”