Cung Le was something of a comet in mixed martial arts, a here-today-gone-tomorrow talent who streaked across the sky in a blaze of brilliance and left fans wanting more.
The sanshou stylist retired in 2015 after he pieced together a 9-3 record across 12 assignments in Strikeforce and the Ultimate Fighting Championship, delivering eight of his nine victories by knockout or technical knockout. Le’s career covered a little more than eight years, with wins over Frank Shamrock, Rich Franklin, Patrick Cote and Scott Smith anchoring his resume. He made what was his final appearance in the cage on Aug. 23, 2014, when he succumbed to a knee strike and follow-up punches from Michael Bisping in the fourth round of their UFC Fight Night 48 headliner.
As Le drifts further and further into the rearview mirror, here are five things you might not know about him:
1. He escaped hell on earth.
Le was born on May 25, 1972 in Saigon, South Vietnam, with the Vietnam War still raging. In fact, at the age of 2, he was evacuated from his homeland by helicopter, along with his mother. They spent time in a refugee camp in the Philippines before emigrating to the United States.