ONE Championship
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
ONE featherweight champion Thanh Le (centre) trains with UFC bantamweight contender Cory Sandhagen (second from left). Photo: Instagram/@thanhlemma

ONE Championship 160: Thanh Le training with UFC’s Cory Sandhagen ahead of Tang Kai title defence

  • Le working with UFC bantamweight ahead of title defence against China’s Tang, slated for ONE 160 on August 26
  • Featherweight champ is also back to work with his long-time friend Ryan Hall, a decorated BJJ black belt

ONE Championship featherweight king Thanh Le has enlisted the help of one of the UFC’s top fighters ahead of his fight with Tang Kai.

The Vietnamese-American champ is slated to defend his title against China’s Tang in the co-headlining attraction of ONE 160 on August 26 in Singapore.

He is clearly taking the challenge seriously, having invited Cory Sandhagen, the UFC’s No 4-ranked bantamweight contender, to his training home of Mid City MMA in New Orleans.

Thanh Le knocks out Garry Tonon at ONE: Lights Out. Photo: ONE Championship.

“So grateful and lucky to have this team around me,” Le, 36, wrote in a recent Instagram post that included a photo from a training session with Sandhagen. “The accumulative knowledge of martial arts and of me as a fighter and a person are impossible to find anywhere else.”

Le (13-2) has also been working with UFC lightweight and decorated Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt Ryan Hall, who is a regular feature of his training camps.

The fight with Tang will be the champion’s first since a devastating, 56-second knockout win over grappling ace Garry Tonon, which kept his impressive, 100 per cent finishing rate in tact.

Cory Sandhagen knocks Frankie Edgar out with a flying knee in February, 2021. Photo: Zuffa LLC

The champion has made it clear ahead of his upcoming title defence that he is forecasting another stoppage victory.

“It’s going to happen. Either I’m going to be finished, or I’m going to finish him,” Le told the Post recently. “We’re not going to the judges. I haven’t been to the judges yet in 14 amateur fights and however many pro fights I have. It ain’t happening this time either.”

Le’s work with Sandhagen (14-4) should help him make good on that promise. Despite decision losses to former bantamweight champions Petr Yan and TJ Dillashaw in his last two fights, the 30-year-old American remains one of the division’s premier fighters.

The 26-year-old Tang (14-2) earned his title shot against Le with a first-round knockout of South Korea’s Kim Jae-woong at ONE X in March.

The ONE 160 event will be headlined by a lightweight title rematch between South Korean champion Ok Rae-yoon and Canadian-American challenger Christian Lee, the division’s former king.