“Into The Badlands” Episode Review “Hand of Five Poisons”

Cung Le in Into The Badlands.

Into The Badlands Season 1, Episode 6: “Hand of Five Poisons”
Original airdate December 20, 2015.


Sunny tries to buy passage for himself, Veil, and M.K. by bringing a false head to the River King. He’s supposed to kill M.K., but kills a lookalike instead. They have to leave that evening, but Veil confronts Sunny about her parents killing, confirming that Sunny stood by and did nothing as Quinn killed them. Sunny’s disloyalty is outed and Quinn locks him up, using him as a card to convince M.K. to be loyal to him, especially because Quinn has seen M.K.’s special powers in action in the previous episode. However, the Widow, Quinn’s son Ryder, and the skilled clipper Zypher move to kill Quinn and the other Baron Jakoby so they can take over. Quinn uses M.K. to fight them, but Quinn is killed by Sunny, who had been released by his old mentor from the jail. Also, a group of mysterious monks show up and collect M.K., making a mess of Sunny to get to him. In the end, M.K. is being taken away by the monks, and Sunny is kidnapped, too, but by the River King who plans on trading him into slavery somewhere down the river.

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What Sports Are Asian Americans Into?

#gingerbread #cookies #ninjas

A photo posted by Carlomus Prime (@carlomusprime) on

I’m a big fan of MMA, and 8Asians writer Jeff has even posted an article about successful Asian American participation in the UFC. Of course, there are some Asian Americans who are into MMA.

Bruce Lee is touted by many as the *first* mixed martial artist. Cung Le is one of the most recognized American MMA fighters out there. Michelle Waterson is one of the top stars of women’s MMA. There’s no shortage of Asian Americans taking the spotlight in the world of MMA.

Nevertheless, as I attended the recent Invicta FC event at Los Angeles, I just couldn’t help but notice I was one of the very few Asian Americans and Asians in the audience of the whole event. This was also true when we went to the open workouts held for the event.

Now, granted, Americans of Asian descent only make up around 5% of the entire United States population. However, we are in LOS ANGELES. There are entire congressional districts that are Asian American down here, and LA has the largest population of Koreans outside of Korea, Taiwanese out of Taiwan, etc. There’s a Thai Town, a Little Saigon, (insert Asian heritage here)-town…you name it, we’ve got it. Koreatown, Little Tokyo, and Chinatown were only a 5 minute drive away from the event venue. University of Southern California (USC), a school known for it’s large number of international students, especially from Asia, was just across the street.

Probably a better measure of Asian American fans of MMA would have been UFC, the biggest MMA promotion, which I watched on broadcast from home instead of attending because the only tickets available were just way out of my price range.

I don’t attend many sports events in general, but it did make me wonder, what sports events in the United States would have a significant percentage of Asian or Asian American fans in the audience? ‘Cause there were barely any at the MMA event I attended. Thoughts anyone?

Are Asian Americans Cheaters?

ripped_cung_leWhen Cung Le lost to Michael Bisping, UFC commentator and former fighter Brian Stann tweeted, “it didn’t pay to cheat for once, good start to the day,”  assuming that Le’s ripped body shown at the UFC Fight Night Macau weigh-ins meant that he used Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs).  A drug test found that he had unusual levels of Human Growth Hormone, resulting in a suspension by the UFC.  Asian Americans have been accused of cheating in a variety of other areas, from academics to contracting to politics.  Are Asian Americans all cheaters?  Is Asian American achievement an illusion that stems from cheating, as some say?  Did Cung Le really cheat?  The answer isn’t a simple yes or no, as we will see.

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8Questions with Cung Le on ‘The Grandmaster,’ The Ultimate Fighter China, and Family

cungleI recently got a chance to talk to actor and MMA fighter Cung Le, who is in The Grandmaster, a movie by Wong Kar Wai about Bruce Lee’s teacher Ip Man

We covered a variety of subjects, from movies and MMA to the differences between Chinese and American martial artists. 

If you read on, you can find out about deleted scenes in The Grandmaster, how Cung is learning Mandarin, and even on how he tries to balance family, movie making, and fighting.

We’ve covered Cung Le on 8Asians before, but check out his candor when I spoke to him last week.

Here is the edited transcript of our conversation.

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The Top 10 Asian American Sports Figures of 2012

Picture from the UFC

Northwest Asian Weekly recently published its list of the Top 10 Asian American sports figures of 2012.  The list was full of Olympians, some of who we covered before covered before, like #6 volleyball player Tamari Miyashiro and #8 wrestler Clarissa Chun, and also had others we have talked about like #7 MMA lightweight champion Benson Henderson.  While #1 is no surprise, I was pleased to see a few others mentioned who don’t get as much publicity.

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Cung Le KOs Franklin in First Round

Completely ignoring my concerns that he had so much on his plate that it might affect his performance, Cung Le knocked out Rich Franklin in the first round of their match. Le called it a “lucky punch.” I was surprised to learn that he had a damaged foot – it was never mentioned in his video. As impressive as his knockout may have been, I am amazed and inspired that a guy in his 40s could celebrate like this. Le also won an additional $40K for a knockout of the night bonus.




Cung Le Trying To Hold It Together With Movie Release And Upcoming UFC Fight

Cung Le is a busy guy:  he has been simultaneously been promoting The Man with the Iron Fists and preparing for a headlining fight against Rich Franklin this weekend at UFC on FUEL 6 in Macao.  This video follows him as he tries to hold it together doing both.  I think it’s interesting for a number of reasons.

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Cung Le beats Cote at UFC 148 but Retirement Uncertain

40 year old Cung Le beat Patrick Cote at UFC 148, but when interviewed, did not say that he would retire.  The UFC would like Cung Le to fight November 10 at UFC on Fuel 6 in Macau as part of the UFC’s push into China, perhaps leveraging the fact that Le has made Chinese movies.  Le’s wife, in this video (which is goes over a number of things, like his appearance in The Man with the Iron Fists), thinks he has a few more fights left in, but then again, she is not the one getting punched in the face.

Have Asian Americans Arrived in Mixed Martial Arts?

In 2008, this forum asked, “why so few Asian American in MMA? Four years later, Ben Henderson is the UFC lightweight champion, Mark Munoz is headlining UFC on Fuel 4, “Munoz vs Weidman,” Cung Le is on the main card of UFC 148, and  Ed “the Filipino Phenom” Yagin recently beat a top contender in the featherweight division.  Have Asian Americans arrived in MMA? I took at the UFC’s roster to find out, and here is what I found.

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Cung Le To Face Patrick Cote At UFC 148

Actor and Mixed Martial Artist Cung Le looks to get his first Octogon win at UFC 148 on July 7, where he faces Patrick “The Predator” Cote on the main card.   As with his previous UFC match, Cote is a substitute, as Rich Franklin, Le’s original opponent, is substituting for an injured Vitor Belfort at UFC 147.   Cote was once a contender for the middleweight belt but lost to Anderson Silva in a title match and left the UFC.  Cote returns on a four fight win streak while Le was knocked out by Wanderlei Silva in his previous match.

(photo credit: UFC)

Wanderlei Silva Stops Cung Le At UFC 139, Le Takes Major Damage

The match between Wanderlei Silva and Cung Le at UFC 139 ended with a TKO in the second round.  Cung Le knocked down Silva with a kick in the first round, but Silva came on strong in the second to finish him.  This is Le’s second MMA loss, and Silva’s win keeps him fighting in the UFC.  Le’s nose was shattered, and the Mercury News concludes that he will probably need facial repairs before he does any more movies.  Three of the main card fighters, including Le, couldn’t attend the post fight press conference because they were sent to the hospital.

Wanderlei Silva Replaces Vitor Belfort Against Cung Le in UFC 139

Vitor Belfort has been replaced by Pride and UFC icon Wanderlei Silva in the UFC 139 fight against Cung Le.  An injury has caused Belfort to withdraw, and you can see Dana White mention the change in this interview.  Silva has lost six out of his eight fights, but the Silva/Le fight still promises to be an exciting match with lots of standup action.