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'He's Going To Sleep Early' Thanh Le Predicts Finish Of Tang Kai At ONE 166


Thanh Le had a string of highlight-reel finishes that led him to the ONE Featherweight MMA World Title. The first time he went to a decision in ONE Championship, Tang Kai took his gold belt.

En route to getting a crack at Tang again, Le won the ONE Interim Featherweight World Championship. At ONE 166: Qatar, he has a chance to unify the belts, but performing to the best of his ability is paramount for the New Orleans native.

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"Yeah. I think the last fight was a really good combination of a really great and well-prepared game plan from Tang and his team, and probably the worst performance and decision-making that I've made in a really, really long time," Le told ONE.

"But that was partly because of the things he was doing. So it's not like I'm trying to take away from the things that he did well. I'm just trying to basically paint the true picture. It was a perfect storm for him to win that belt, and he ended up doing it."

Le has been focused on every aspect of his game since that meeting. He admits his ability to adapt makes him one of the most dangerous athletes in the sport. However, he also knows he cannot master every aspect of the sport before his window closes.

"That's the goal, to be like a God Mode character, 10 out of 10 and everything, but that's not going to happen. I'm not a vampire. I can't live 100 years and build those skills. But I'm getting so much closer than I used to be. And that's the whole point," the New Orleans native said.

The rematch took an extended period to come to fruition due to Tang recovering from injury. Le was happy to stay active but desperately wanted his rematch. The American star believes it will prove detrimental to Tang as he has had even more time to prepare for Tang.

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"Yeah, it's been long overdue. It shouldn't have taken this long, but it did. It was nice to get a little fight between, get a little fight knocked out in between, but I would have loved to obviously face Tang immediately after," Le stated.

"The bad part for him is that we had more time to make sure that we sharpen up this game plan so I can repossess. It's going to be a completely different looking fight. I'm so excited to be able to show this to my team, my coaches, my family, and the fans out there and to see what should happen the first time. It didn't, so you'll see what should have happened the first time."

With his finishing ability and outlook on the matchup, Le believes his name should be atop the star-studded lineup. To prove his point and leave the judges idle, he plans to stop his Chinese opponent early in their bout. As such, he wants to make sure every fan in the Lusail Sports Arena and around the world are sitting down for one of the most exhilarating featherweight bouts of the year.

"Man, I'll be honest with you: if we make it out of the first round, I'll be surprised. He's in for either a short night or a long night. It's going to be a lot of fun to watch. I don't know why they put the main event like third or fourth or whatever number I am," Le said.

"It's weird they put us like third or fourth down the card, but y'all better get to the arena. Really cause he's going to sleep, and he's going to sleep early."

ONE 166 airs live and free on Prime Video on Friday, March 1. The action begins at 7:30 a.m. EST/4:30 a.m. PST.

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