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Focused on Frank: exclusive sit-down with Strikeforce fighter Cung Le

Cung Lee

On Saturday, March 29, Cung Le will be in the fight of his mixed martial arts (MMA) life when he takes on legendary middleweight fighter and current Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, Frank Shamrock, in front of a sellout crowd at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif,. for Strikeforce: "Shamrock vs. Cung Le."

Le is undefeated (5-0) in MMA, with all five wins coming in the Strikeforce cage. He realizes that this will be one of the biggest fights of his career up to this point.

"It's a big step up for me, but I like the challenge, I'm looking forward to it," Le told

The two will be going at it for the Strikeforce Middleweight championship, which Shamrock won last June when he defeated Phil Baroni at a Strikeforce event. Le, who will be 35 in May, knows that he has an excellent opportunity to win the Strikeforce Middleweight title and is very excited for the shot, which will come two years after making his debut in MMA.

"My first MMA fight was in March 2006. I'm two years into it and now I'm fighting for a title. That means a lot to me," Le said. "It's a great opportunity and I'm looking forward to March 29th."

Both fighters will get to square off in San Jose, where both fighters live. Le is thrilled about the chance to fight for the Strikeforce title in San Jose, but also knows that it will be a hometown fight for Shamrock as well.

"It's always special when I fight in front of the hometown crowd, but it's Frank's hometown crowd as well," Le said. "When the smoke clears, we'll see who's the one standing."

Le is a former San Shou fighter, compiling a 17-0 record as a San Shou fighter with 12 knockouts. He believes his style can give him an advantage in the fight.

"I believe my style gives me a lot of advantages because there's a lot of kicks and strikes combinations that Frank as an MMA fighter is not use to," Le said.

Le use to be a training partner with Shamrock a long time ago. And he thinks it will be more of a factor for Shamrock than himself. Regardless, Le knows he needs to be on the top of his game if he wants to leave the HP Pavilion next Saturday night as the Strikeforce 185-pound champion.

"I gotta fight smart, don't rush anything and realize that there's plenty of time to get things done," Le said.

Le has had to prepare a little differently for Shamrock because of how great a fighter he is. He has been working with former kickboxing coach for Shamrock, Javier Mendez.

"My whole training camp is just preparing for what Frank will do, what he might do,what his plan A, plan B, plan C, plan D would be," Le said. "So, we have to prepare for all of his gameplans and just be ready."

In Le's first five fights he has recorded one knockout and four technical knockouts. His last fight was at Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives, in November. Le defeated Sam Morgan via technical knockout after a liver kick forced Morgan to stop.

Le makes it a point not to predict what might happen in the fight.

"I don't predict any knockouts, I don't predict how a fight will end, but I predict that it will be a classic fight," Le said.

This will be Le's second on his six-fight contract with Strikeforce. Le is content with being in Strikeforce and his main focus at this point will be on Shamrock.

"I really don't think about anything else except Frank Shamrock," Le said.

Le is happy with where he's at right now and looks forward to walking into the Strikeforce cage in the HP Pavilion and fighting Frank Shamrock.

"I'm happy to be alive, I'm happy to wake up this morning, I'm happy to be apart of this event and I hope everybody tunes in to watch because there's going to be fireworks," Le said.

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