Thanh Le working on grappling with Ryan Hall in preparation for Tonon title defense

Thanh Le (left) Ryan Hall (right) [Photo: ONE Championship]
Thanh Le (left) Ryan Hall (right) [Photo: ONE Championship]
Atilano Diaz

Thanh Le isn’t at all perturbed by the postponement of his title defense against Garry ‘The Lion Killer’ Tonon.

In fact, the Vietnamese-American from Louisiana says the extra time is actually helping him prepare even better for the task at hand.

Speaking to ONE Championship in a recent interview, Thanh Le talked about fine-tuning his game for the challenge Tonon poses. He also revealed who is helping him tighten up his grappling.

“Honestly, same old thing, you know. I’m still game planning for Garry obviously, he's the guy that's on the other side of that paper. He's the one we're preparing for. It just gives me a little bit more time to iron things out and add little its and bits to my game and make sure I'm prepared for all the things that we think that he could bring to the table.” -

The 36-year-old revealed that he is once again working with Ryan Hall and Adam Benayoun to sharpen his skills in Virginia at Fifty/50 Martial Arts Academy.

Thanh Le says he is pushed to the limit on a daily basis, which is what he needs to be ready for an opponent like Tonon.

“That's always been the routine for me, is finding the literally the best mind in MMA that I can find and trying to help each other get better and grow in the right direction. And it's been a great symbiotic relationship, back and forth. I've tried to help where I can and have learned so much from Ryan and his team. But, you know, same routine, same approach to my game."

Thanh Le says Garry Tonon fight provides an intriguing clash of styles

In many ways, it’s the classic striker versus grappler matchup. However, Thanh Le was quick to mention that he believes Tonon is just as well-rounded as he is and the advantages aren’t as clear-cut as they seem to be.

As such, the game plan isn’t as one dimensional as fans think it is. There are a lot of moving parts to consider. One thing is for certain though, Thanh Le will always try to play to his strengths.

“We're gonna keep the fight where I feel most comfortable and where I'm able to be the best me possible. Obviously, he's trying to counteract that, bring it to his world. And it just so happens, in this matchup, we've got the good old traditional grappler versus striker matchup.
“I think it's going to be a really interesting matchup for the fans because it is traditional grappler versus striker, but he’s got some striking and I've got some grappling. So if it touches the ground for two seconds, I'm not getting subbed. If he stays standing and keeps his hands up for two seconds, he's not getting knocked out. We're going to have to fight each other and we're going to do some damage to each other and we're gonna have to start peeling back some of those layers before somebody gets some real success.”

Thanh Le and Garry Tonon are expected to throw down in early 2022 at ONE X, ONE Championship’s highly anticipated 10th anniversary show.

Edited by Harvey Leonard


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