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Cung Le: Jake Shields is using my name to get publicity


Props: MMA Examiner


"I don’t handpick my opponents and after a 20 month layoff, I don’t think a fight with Scott Smith is easy by any stretch of the imagination. They’re not throwing me a bone or anything. The promotion knows how to put on a fight and put butts in the seats. If they think a fight between Jake and I is going to be good for them and make new fans, they are going to make it happen. That’s not my job though, my job is to be in the gym training for whoever they put in front of me. Jake is not the first person to use my name for publicity and he won’t be the last ... If Jake wants to talk smack and say I dodged him, then that’s fine. In this sport you have to have a thick skin, and really, it’s just his way of getting publicity ... But when you dog someone like that, you lose fans. My fans can’t really respect someone like that and other people in the community might feel the same way. Also, lets see how long Jake holds onto that belt. Look at all the talent coming in, you have Dan Henderson, Jacare, Melvin Manhoef--it’s not like I’m at the top of that list. If the promotion takes a chance on me and I beat Jake, what happens when I have to go and do three or four more movies? What happens to the belt then? It goes back to what happened last time and Scott Coker has to make a tough decision."

Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Cung Le talks about his decision to return to mixed martial arts on Dec. 19 at "Evolution" to face the hard-hitting Scott Smith while in the midst of a break between acting gigs. The San Shou disciple came under fire from Shields, who claims Le vacated the title in order to escape having to defend it against him on national television. While they seemed destined to collide, the influx of hungry middleweights like Manhoef, Henderson and Souza doesn't bode well for a future Le vs. Shields grudge match. Will Le stick around long enough to face any of the aforementioned fighters? And what are his chances if he does?

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