Ilya Freymanov: Well-rounded Thanh Le says he is more than just a professional fighter: “I’m a martial artist”


American-Vietnamese Thanh Le does not consider himself as just a professional fighter. He sees himself as more of a martial artist and what he does is a way of life.

The newly minted interim ONE featherweight MMA world champion served to highlight this following his impressive victory over Russian rising star Ilya Freymanov at ONE Fight Night 15 on Prime Video on October 6 in Bangkok.

The 38-year-old New Orleans native shared:

“I don’t really think I’m a fighter. I’ll fight you but I don’t think I’m a fighter. I’m a martial artist. So that’s what I think I do best and that’s why I do it every day and all day and I like it. I love it. This is my life. I say this in every interview but you know, martial arts.”

Watch the post-fight interview of Thanh Le below:

At ONE Fight Night 15, Thanh Le did not waste much time in finishing off Ilya Freymanov. He immediately buckled down to work, going for his opponent’s legs and when he was able to get hold of the Russian’s heel, he cranked on it, forcing Freymanov to tap out just 62 seconds into the scheduled five-rounder.

It was a bounce-back win for the 50/50 / MidCity MMA affiliate after losing the ONE featherweight MMA world title to China’s Tang Kai by unanimous decision in August last year.

He was angling to get a rematch with the reigning champion but Tang Kai is currently out injured and cannot compete, forcing ONE to hold an interim championship fight in the division. Just the same, Thanh Le is hoping to get a unification bout whenever the featherweight world champion is ready and able.

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ONE Fight Night 15 went down at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. Its replay is available anytime on demand for Amazon Prime Video subscribers in North America.

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