By Dan Elliot, EnStarz | Jul 09, 2012 05:20 PM EDT
Normally, when Channing Tatum appears on screen, he's the star.
On Saturday night, however, Tatum was just a spectator.
Tatum - whose latest film, Magic Mike, took in $15.6 million over the weekend to bring its two-week gross to $72.8 million - was in the crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for UFC 148, cheering on former co-star Cung Le. It's been a busy year for Tatum, who has had three movies hit the big screen (including The Vow and 21 Jump Street), and reprised his role as Captain Duke Hauser in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which is scheduled for a 2013 release. Nonetheless, he found time on Saturday night to occupy a cage-side seat, sporting a Cung Le t-shirt.
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Le, who appeared alongside Tatum in 2009's Fighting, defeated Patrick "The Predator" Côté via unanimous decision on Saturday night. It was the first UFC win for the 40-year-old Le, a Sanshou master who holds a 17-0 record as a professional kickboxer and an 8-2 mixed martial arts record. Le fought the first eight bouts of his career in Strikeforce, where he won the middleweight championship in 2008 before relinquishing the title to pursue his film career, which includes roles alongside Dennis Quaid (2009's Pandorum) and Kelly Overton (2010's Tekken) in addition to his turn alongside Tatum.
Le used his fight on Saturday to promote his next film, The Man With the Iron Fists, due out this fall. Ads for the film's website - IronFists.com - appeared on both the front and back of his fight shorts, as well as a banner in his corner. The film marks the directorial debut of Wu-Tang Clan mastermind RZA - who co-wrote the screenplay with Eli Roth (Hostel) - and features a cast headlined by Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu and RZA himself.
While Le was noncommittal after the fight about his future plans, UFC President Dana White is eager for Le to fight again in November, when the UFC makes its debut in China with a November 10 event at the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel's Cotai Arena. That fight card could mark another promotional opportunity for the Vietnam-born Le: his film The Grandmasters - about martial arts master Ip Man - is currently in post-production and due for a December 18 release in China. The film, directed by awar-winning Chinese director Kar Wai Wong, stars Tony Leung Chiu Wai as Ip Man, the master who trained Bruce Lee.
While it remains to be seen if Le will get back into the Octagon in November, it's certain that his former co-star Tatum enjoyed what he saw on Saturday night.
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