One of the biggest questions heading into Thanh Le’s featherweight title bid against Martin Nguyen at Inside the Matrix this Friday surrounds his cardio.
It’s not that Thanh Le’s cardio is bad. At least, we don’t think so. The thing is, we’ve never really had to see it. The top prospect, who has quickly ascended the ranks in ONE Championship, has never been past the second round. He’s got a 100% finish rate, and has never lost by decision, either.
So it remains a question mark in a five-round championship bout. However, Le told Cageside Press during an online media session this week that he’s been preparing to go the distance since his amateur days.
“We’ve been preparing for a decision since I was an amateur, nine minute fights, and then 15 minute fights and then 25 minute fights,” revealed Le (11-2). “But you know, it’s never in the cards to sprint out there and try to finish this man in the first round recklessly,” he added.
It’s just that the knockouts have happened to come early in most of his fights. “But that’s not the game plan, to go out there and just close my eyes and start swinging, right?” continued Le. “We go out there and we do things calculated, we do things very, very precise. And then when the opening happens, I do a pretty good job of taking advantage.”
He certainly has so far. Le holds wins over Bobby Moffett and Kotetsu Boku. Somehow, despite setting up a finish on Dana White’s Contender Series with a head kick in 2017, he didn’t earn a UFC contract. Well, the UFC’s loss has been ONE Championship’s gain.
Le is not expecting a quick finish come Friday, however. “I think it’s going to be a much longer fight than we’re used to, against Martin. He’s disciplined, he’s smart, he’s not going to go out there and lay down and give his belt up easily. He’s worked his whole life for this also, to retain this title, to keep this belt. And we’re going to do our best to take it from him. So when that opening comes, we’ll take it.”
Watch the full ONE Championship: Inside the Matrix media day session with Thanh Le above.