Cung Le Frustrated with ‘TUF: CHINA’

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Cung Le was the head coach for the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter: China,” but he ended up doing a lot more than training the fighters.

Though in an appearance on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Le explained that while he thoroughly enjoyed what he called the “really good experience” of imparting his knowledge to the up-and-coming Chinese fighters, life behind the scenes was a bit more turbulent than the middleweight expected.

“Just working with the camera crew from China, which never shot a reality TV show before, it was almost like… I literally, there were a few times where I picked up the camera and was trying to find where the ‘on’ button was to film what was going on. It was that bad,” Le revealed.

“It seemed like every 15 minutes someone was sitting down taking a break, and it was very frustrating.”

“I’m glad I brought along my trainer Scott Sheeley,” Le continued. “Because at one point he took over as, like, the behind the scenes head coach, because the television station wanted a Chinese coach. And the Chinese coach on the yellow team (Hailin Ao) never had MMA experience, didn’t know anything about the ground game. He was more of, like, a sanda coach, and when the guys got taken down, he didn’t know what to do.”

The former Strikeforce champion also had problems with how the show was edited.

“The most frustrating thing that I came across was I was able to salvage so much great footage — I even made sure that they captured the moment on playback,” he said, “and when it came to the editing, they edited around a lot of scenarios that would make the Chinese coaches look bad or it would make the fighters who didn’t know anything, like the yoga guy, [look bad].”

Le doesn’t actually blame the editor, though, nor did he blame the UFC or producer Dan Farmer.

“I wouldn’t say it was the editor,” he said. “I would say it’s a little bit higher on the ladder. That’s all I can say.”

“In the end what I realized is all these athletes that China has, man, they pick up fast because in six weeks, they got the game,” Le said. “They started understanding it because they were really good martial artists.”