“When I can’t pour my entire soul and time into this game, I’m out” - Thanh Le on when it’s time to retire

Saray
ONE featherweight world champion Thanh Le will retire from MMA when he can no longer put his entire soul into it [Credit: ONE Championship]
ONE featherweight world champion Thanh Le will retire from MMA when he can no longer put his entire soul into it [Credit: ONE Championship]

Thanh Le feels he’s still got many years left before walking away from MMA forever.

The 36 year-old star made his entrance into ONE Championship in 2019 after stringing together a professional MMA record of 8-2. He made an immediate impact by defeating Yusup Saadulaev in his debut appearance- knocking out the Dagestani with a devastating knee in the second round.

Fast-track to the present day, Thanh Le is now 13-2 and has been an unstoppable force in the featherweight division. Recognized as one of the best strikers and finishers in the world, the Louisiana native doesn’t feel he’s ready to hang up the gloves just yet.

He spoke to ONE Championship and said:

“I have a rule. When I don’t want to do this anymore, when I can’t pour my entire soul and time into this game, I’m out - easy plain and simple. I can’t start building my MMA gym empire until I’m done fighting. And I’m excited to start that part of my life too. I just can’t yet because I absolutely love competing and training camps and game-planning and getting my hand raised so much. I couldn’t quit if I wanted to right now.”

The Vietnamese-American fighter feels like his journey is just beginning. The challenges get tougher as the years go by, but it doesn’t deter him from testing his skills even further. In fact, he believes he might be doing this for at least a couple more years.

Thanh Le is up for his second world title defense against Tang Kai at ONE 160, and even though Tang has threatened to retire the “old man,” Le has been utilizing the trash talk as motivation to finish his opponent early in the match.


Thanh Le reveals his game plan for world title match with Tang Kai

Tensions are high as the countdown begins for the featherweight world title fight between Thanh Le and Tang Kai on Friday, August 26.

Le expects a tactical and highly technical showdown with the Chinese striker. On paper, they look to be evenly matched in terms of overall skill and ability, so we might witness a drawn out slugfest.

In the latest pre-fight preview, Thanh Le explained how he sees the fight ending:

“My game plan for the fight is to drag him- I want him to feel rounds 4 and 5, if he makes it that far. I want to be able to take him deep into the waters, let him understand that he’s facing a world champion and I want him to feel what it feels like to be in there with me.”

Catch the fight preview below:

youtube-cover

Quick Links

Edited by Virat Deswal