UFC middleweight Cung Le will celebrate his 41st birthday later this month. However, the San Shou specialist is not looking to retire anytime soon unless forced to do so for physical reasons. Make no mistake though – Le’s body is beaten up from a lifetime of competition and the type of drive pushing him forward no matter the cost.

For example, Le faced Rich Franklin last November with a plethora of problems including elbow issues and a badly banged up foot. Now, more than six months later, the former Strikeforce champion is still dealing with some of the fallout from the fight.

“I’ve just been rehabbing my elbows. My left one is almost 100 percent, but my right one still is not there yet. So it’s all about staying with my rehab,” said Le in an interview with Bleacher Report. “For me it’s all about wait and see. I love to compete, but it’s been very frustrating trying to recover and just start getting back in and every time I coach or see my guys spar it’s like I miss being back in there.”

“It’s not a matter of losing the hunger. The hunger’s there, but I have to (be) smarter now that I’m 40 and the recovery’s not as fast as even in my 30’s,” explained Le. “I’m in L.A. right now. I even have my trainer out here. We’re going to make sure we stay in shape.”

Le is 9-2 in his MMA career including eight knockouts. In addition to Franklin he also holds past wins over the likes of Frank Shamrock, Scott Smith, and Patrick Cote.