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And Now He’s Retired: Cung Le Will No Longer Be Throwing Spinning Sh*t


(Warrior. Photo via Victor Fraile/Getty Images)

Well, we probably should have seen this coming.

In the media firestorm following his Fight Night 48 drug-testing fiasco and subsequent (but unrelated) class-action lawsuit against the UFC, Cung Le has decided to retire from MMA. Fans of spinning sh*t, pour one out.

In eight years of professional competition, Le collected a 9-3 record that included wins over Rich Franklin, Patrick Cote, and Frank Shamrock — the latter of which earned him the Strikeforce middleweight championship. After rattling off back-to-back wins at the age of 40 in 2012, Le came under fire when he tested positive for HGH following his 4th round TKO loss to Michael Bisping at Fight Night Macau in August. While photos of Le’s suspiciously jacked physique had raised a heap of questions prior to the fight, it was the UFC’s mishandling of his urine sample that raised a ton more.

Seeking to clear his name, Le immediately (and rightfully) challenged the results of his test, which in turn led to his 12-month suspension being lifted due to “lack of evidence.” When the UFC failed to sincerely apologize for dragging his name through the mud, Le asked to be released of his contract before being named as one of the chief plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit filed against the promotion. Despite this, Le was still listed as a member of the UFC’s active roster until his retirement was announced yesterday.

After the jump: Check out Le’s prepared statement, the UFC’s response, and a brief tribute to some of his most memorable moments in the cage.

Although Le hasn’t ruled out a possible return to kickboxing, he released a prepared statement (via MMAJunkie) yesterday which states that “active competition in mixed martial arts” was no longer a part of his and his families future.

After several months of thought and discussion with my wife and family we realize our future includes many things, but active competition in mixed martial arts is no longer one of them therefore I am officially announcing my retirement from active competition. Fighting will never be far from my heart and martial arts will always continue to be a part of my daily life. I have thoroughly enjoyed the career that I have been blessed with due in large part to all my fans and the many people who have helped me on my journey.

I want to personally thank my wife, Suzanne, my three Little Ninjas, my Mother, Sister and the rest of my incredible family for their support, prayers and inspiration. I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank Scott Coker for his long-time friendship and support of my career, Gary Ibarra for your tenacity, to Khoa Do for everything, Scott Sheeley, you know, and to Jane Estioko, thank you for your loyalty. I’d also like to thank all of my past and present USH Team Family members, I am grateful for every round.

I’d like to recognize the UFC for the opportunity they have provided me, the sport of mixed martial arts, and more importantly the fans who love it, you will never be far from my heart. It has truly been my honor and my privilege to entertain you.

In statements of their own released through UFC.com, Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta graciously thanked Le for all he had done to expand the promotion’s brand into Asia while lauding the quality of his character.

“Cung Le was a great ambassador of the sport for us in Asia and one of the most exciting middleweights to step foot in the octagon,” said Fertitta. “We wish him well in his retirement and future endeavors.”

“Cung Le was awesome and would take any fight. He was such a huge piece of the success of ‘The Ultimate Fighter: China.’ I loved working with him and wish him well in the future” echoed White.

For a guy who averaged just one fight a year, Le was able to amass quite a ridiculous highlight reel of brutal finishes, so join us below to relive some of his most memorable ones.

Le vs. Brian Warren — Strikeforce: Revenge

Le vs. Tony Fryklund — Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni

Le vs. Frank Shamrock — Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Le

Le vs. Scott Smith II — Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum

Le vs. Rich Franklin — UFC on FUEL 6

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