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Tag: Cung Le

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.


Following Cung Le Debacle, UFC Ends Its Out-of-Competition Drug Testing Program

(White, seen here introducing the UFC’s latest catchphrase, ”Whaddya gon’ do?” Photo via Getty.)

Of all the things that went so, so wrong for the UFC in 2014, the biggest positive that could be taken away was easily the promotion’s decision to begin drug-testing its athletes in house and year-round. As luck would have it, 2014 also went down as one of the druggiest years in MMA since the PRIDE days (allegedly). Random, out-of-competition drug testing was an expensive but necessary step forward and one that helped quell the near-constant questions regarding the legitimacy of the organization’s product. And it was working, dammit.

That was, until the UFC started farming out their drug testing to fly-by-night laboratories like the one that handled Cung Le’s sample. You know, the one which led to a 12-month suspension for the high-profile middleweight (that was quickly overturned) and played a huge role in Le’s request to be released of his contract as well as his class-action lawsuit against the UFC that followed? Yeah, that one.

Well put your minds at ease, Potato Nation, because the UFC’s short-lived attempt to run an out-of-competition drug testing program is over. HIP, HIP, HOORAY!!

Dana White broke the news during a media session on Thursday afternoon at the MGM Grand. Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter has the details:

“Our legal team completed screwed that up. We f—-d it up, and we will f–k it up again. That’s what the commission is there for,” he said.

White continued by saying that, while they have come to the realization that the promotion cannot oversee its own drug testing program, Zuffa will instead give more money to athletic commissions to help fund additional testing.

“What we’ll do is we’ll help fund it, so they can do more drug testing,” he said. “Our legal department screwed that whole thing up. We’ve got no business handling the regulation.”


Worst Christmas Ever: The 15 Most Depressing UFC Items Currently Available at

(This is a Tank Abbott professional wrestling action figure produced and sold by the WWE. Spoiler alert: It is easily a much better Christmas present for the MMA fans in your life than ANYTHING on this list.)

By Seth Falvo

From ugly t-shirts to video games with comically deformed characters, MMA fans don’t exactly have a ton of half-decent options for Christmas presents. So it should probably go without saying that if you see that one of your presents is from tomorrow morning, you should just throw the damn thing in the trash without opening it. Trust me, whatever is inside of that box is a Christmas tragedy the likes of which would make Agatha Christie blush.

The UFC’s official shop is not only littered with exactly the ugly, trashy, tasteless merchandise that you’d expect to see the Eddie Justbleeds of the world own, but also some incredibly confusing, useless products that suggest that maybe the UFC isn’t fully comfortable catering to said Justbleeds. I mean, for a company whose fan base is constantly measuring its collective dick, you’d think they’d be selling things like a UFC Belt Sander instead of a hyper-masculine UFC Shoe Bag.

So it’s in that spirit that I’ll be ranking the fifteen most depressing UFC items that you can currently buy — or, likely, receive as a Christmas present tomorrow — from Two rules: Number one, only UFC and UFC Gym brand items are eligible for inclusion, because as much as I’d love to include this eyesore, I’m not nearly enough of a masochist to rank every last item that awful place has up for grabs. And number two: It isn’t enough for an item to simply be extremely ugly, pointless, overpriced, dated or just plain stupid. No, for an item to make this list, it has to be that magical brand of awfulness that actually makes you feel sad and empty upon seeing that people are being asked to pay money in order to own it. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s begin our trip to the Island of Misfit UFC Merchandise…


Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against UFC — Details Inside [UPDATED]

(The lawsuit’s plaintiffs are listed as “Cung Le, Nathan Quarry, Jon Fitch, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated.” / Photo via Getty)

UPDATE: The actual legal filing can be read right here, and the full audio of the conference call is below, via MMAFightCorner.

The reported class-action lawsuit against the UFC filed by current and former fighters will be officially announced this afternoon. The communications firm Turner4D sent a notice to and other MMA media entities yesterday afternoon, stating that the plaintiffs’ names and other details will be provided during a news conference beginning at 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET. The conference will be held at Hyatt Place San Jose/Downtown in San Jose, California. Autograph seekers are advised to wait by the bar and act cool.

CagePotato will be listening in to the proceedings via telephone machine, and we’ll type out important updates about the UFC class-action lawsuit below as we get them. Stay tuned, you guys. #TheTimeIsNow

Even before the call starts, Greg Savage of Sherdog passes along some info: “The civil action is [titled] Cung Le, et al v. Zuffa, LLC, d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Championship and UFC…Media packet states that Cung Le, Jon Fitch and Nate Quarry are the participants in the suit…The case was filed today in the Northern District of California in San Jose. It seeks treble damages and injunctive relief under the Sherman Antitrust Act.”

Yes, those are all guys who have expressed frustration with the UFC in the past. (See: Here, here.)

The call is kicked off by Joseph Saveri, an antitrust lawyer based in San Francisco. He introduces Le and Quarry (who are on the scene in San Jose), and Fitch who is participating by phone. Saveri also introduces other lawyers who are participating, including antitrust experts Benjamin Brown and Robert Maysey.

Saveri: “Today, there is only one real promotional option for MMA fighters — the UFC.” Saveri outlines the lawsuit that was filed by the aforementioned fighters this afternoon. Essentially: The UFC has monopolized the MMA industry, destroyed competitors, and as a result, MMA athletes have been unable to obtain what they’re worth. They’ve also lost ownership of their likenesses.

Brown: “Elite MMA fighters earn a mere fraction of the revenue compared to boxing…UFC’s profit margins are among the highest in all of sport…UFC has monopolized the highest level of the sport.”


Cung Le Seeking Release From UFC in Wake of Drug Testing Fiasco, Expresses Interest in Fighting for Bellator

(“So…tomorrow night at Dave & Buster’s?” / Photo via MMAWeekly)

On yesterday’s installment of the Gross Point Blank podcast, UFC middleweight Cung Le revealed that he’s seeking to be released from his UFC contract. Despite having two fights remaining on his deal, Le has asked his manager Gary Ibarra to request his release.

“I’d just prefer not to be part of the UFC anymore,” Le told host Josh Gross. “I’d prefer not to put the effort into something I don’t believe in anymore.”

Le’s negative stance on the UFC stems from the dreadful way that the promotion handled his drug testing at UFC Fight Night 48 in August. In short, the UFC farmed out drug testing for that event to a fly-by-night laboratory operation in Hong Kong that wasn’t equipped to handle enhanced PED screenings, suspended Le for nine months when his sample came back positive for elevated HGH, bumped the suspension up to 12 months when Le started to make noise about it, then canceled the suspension when it became apparent that the testing lab’s methods were a joke — but never apologized to Le publicly.

It’s not the kind of the thing that Le can easily forgive and forget. Because there was so much speculation about Le’s action-figure physique leading up to the fight, his positive test — despite its total lack of legitimacy — convinced many fans that Le was a cheater, and put a major dent in his reputation. As Gary Ibarra explained to Gross:


Power-Ranking Michael Bisping’s Grudge Matches, By Level of Anger

For Michael Bisping, every match is a grudge match. The TUF 3 winner never met a fellow fighter he couldn’t take the piss out of in his 21-fight (!) UFC career, and to be totally honest, I’m kind of starting to love the dude for it.

Truly the silver-tongued, tea-sipping Diaz brother is his highness Count Bisping, who has found himself in yet another war of words with former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold heading into their Fight Night 55 headliner on November 7th. Ben Fowlkes attempted to get to the bottom of Bisping’s seemingly endless dickishness in an interview published on MMAJunkie yesterday, and according to the Brit, pre-fight trash simply serves as his way of keeping the constant eat-train-sleep schedule from growing stale. According to Rockhold, however, Bisping is just “a prick that most people don’t like.” A regular Felix Unger and Oscar Madison these two are, I tells ya!

But as heated as Bisping vs. Rockhold has been thus far (see their “Counterpunch” segment above, their rooftop staredown, etc.), it doesn’t hold a candle to Bisping’s verbal sparring matches with Hollywood Henderson and that Bully Beatdown host guy whose life he destroyed. So it is through rage-filled, bloodshot eyes that we take a look back at Bisping’s most heated rivalries and rank them on a scale of Berk to Arselicking Plonker.

#9 — Charles McCarthy 

So the saying goes, “Opinions are like assholes, and Michael Bisping is one opinionated asshole.” He’s also a guy who was never shy on confidence, which Charles “Chainsaw” McCarthy took issue with heading into their fight back at UFC 83. Oddly enough, it was actually McCarthy who attacked Bisping first through the media, telling CBS Sports:

(He’s) real arrogant, and, you know — not much else, really. He’s gonna get choked out April 19.

I have very little regard for that guy. I can’t wait to go in there and get my arm around his neck. It’s going to be a cool experience. I hope to put him to sleep before he decides to tap.

Bisping was quick to respond via his blog, The Countdown, with the following shot at McCarthy’s self-hyped BJJ credentials:

Next week’s Countdown will be filed after I’ve come face-to-face with the reigning BJJ uber-master of the galaxy. If anyone wants me to ask him for an autograph for you, please e-mail me, but keep your requests down to six per person.

Whaddya think of that one, Kelso?

When it came time to put words aside, Bisping was simply too much for his fellow TUF alum, overwhelming McCarthy with a barrage of knees (that in fact broke McCarthy’s arm) and forcing a stoppage inside of the first round. It was Bisping’s first true grudge match in the UFC, and one that would set the precedent for years to come.


Friday Links: UFC 179 Weigh-In Results, War Machine’s Latest Jail Letter, Cung Le Demands an Apology + More

(“The Night Earnest Lost His Sh*t at the Kumite” — classic karate footage, via MMALatestNews)

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Cain Velasquez Has Successful Surgery, Hopes for March Return (MMAFighting)

War Machine Tweets From Jail, Asks Fans Not to Harass Christy Mack (BloodyElbow)

Cung Le Calls for ‘Rightly Owed’ Apology From UFC Following Mishandled HGH Test (MMAFighting, again)

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Cung Le’s HGH Suspension Lifted by UFC Due to ‘Lack of Conclusive Laboratory Results’

(Photo via Getty)

After being suspended from competition for 12 months due to a positive test for excessive human growth hormone (HGH) following UFC Fight Night 48, UFC middleweight Cung Le went on a public campaign arguing that the testing protocols used by the UFC for its August event in Macau were completely sub-standard. Essentially, the UFC farmed out the work to a local lab that maybe didn’t know what it was doing and destroyed Le’s sample so he couldn’t appeal the result.

Fortunately, the UFC has done the right thing by rescinding the suspension, and Le is now free to fight again. Here’s the official statement from

At UFC Fight Night Macao on August 23rd, UFC contracted with an independent drug testing laboratory in Hong Kong to perform urinalysis testing on all fighters on the card. Additionally, UFC requested the laboratory to test blood samples from 4 fighters for human growth hormone (HGH), erythropoietin (EPO) and testosterone.

One of the athletes who had his blood tested was Cung Le. The laboratory results from Le’s blood test were sent to the UFC and showed that his blood had a total HGH level outside the reference range. Based on such results, UFC officials determined that Le had violated his promotional agreement and the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy. Consequently, UFC decided that Le should be suspended from unarmed combat competition for 12 months.

Following the announcement of Le’s suspension, UFC officials have been provided with medical advice regarding the elevated total HGH present in Le’s system. In accordance with such medical advice, UFC has determined that Le’s elevated total HGH by itself does not prove that he took performance-enhancing drugs before the August 23rd bout. As a result, UFC has informed Le that his suspension is rescinded.


The Hong Kong Lab That Handled Cung Le’s Drug Test Is Somewhat Less Than Legit

(“Tastes fine to me.” / Photo via Getty)

When the UFC suspended Cung Le for 12 months following a positive test result for excessive Human Growth Hormone, Le’s team immediately cast doubts on the UFC’s testing methods. Notably, his sample was sent to a non-WADA approved laboratory, and was destroyed afterwards. A new report from MMAJunkie reveals more information about the lab in question, which doesn’t sound like it would be anybody’s first choice to test the athletes of a major sports promotion. Here’s the important stuff:

The Hong Kong Functional Medical Testing Center (HKFMTC) resides in Hong Kong’s southern Yau Tsim Mong District, about an hour’s ferry ride from the Macau’s Cotai Arena where August’s UFC Fight Night 48 was held.

The company’s website offers to test your metabolic function, examine hair for heavy metals or nails for drugs of abuse, for example. It also offers a service called “autism medical testing.” The company opened its doors in February, according to an online records search, and recently put out a job posting for its marketing department.

Following the Aug. 23 event, a phlebotomist hired by the UFC took blood samples from headliners Cung Le and Michael Bisping immediately after their fight and shipped them to the HKFMTC, the promotion told MMAjunkie…It’s unclear how the HKFMTC tested the samples, and the UFC declined to answer any additional questions on the procedures used in connection with the event. On the drug testing firm’s website, there is no specific mention of testing for human growth hormone, though the company does offer a test of the endocrine system including “growth factor analysis.” It’s certain, though, that HKFMTC is not accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which sets guidelines used for HGH testing. The nearest WADA-accredited lab is in Beijing, a four-hour flight from Macau.


Cung Le Denies Using HGH, Questions UFC’s Independent Testing Methods Following Failed Drug Test

(Photo via Getty)

In the wake of Cung Le‘s year-long suspension for an excess level of Human Growth Hormone, the UFC middleweight and his manager Gary Ibarra have publicly denied that he’s a doper. Amazingly, Le isn’t blaming his failed drug test on inept doctors or tainted supplements. Instead, his team is arguing that the procedures used by the UFC’s independent testing were suspect, and not as reliable as the World Anti-Doping Agency‘s methods. Here’s the official statement that Le and Ibarra released yesterday:

Cung Le Statement Regarding Positive hGH Test at UFC Fight Night, Macao, China

San Francisco – October 2, 2014 Gary Ibarra, Cung Le’s manager, confirmed the UFC’s statement regarding the failed hGH test results of Cung Le collected post-fight at UFC Fight Night, Macau China on August 23rd. In response to the UFC’s recent statement regarding Cung’s drug test results, our client would like to release this statement.

“I was completed surprised at the results of my recent drug test. I was informed by the UFC that I passed my pre and post-fight drug test as well as the majority of the blood tests with the only abnormality being an elevated level of hGH being determined to be present. I tested negative for Anabolics, Stimulants, Diuretics, Masking Agents and my Testosterone levels were within World Anti- Doping Agency and Nevada State Athletic Commission Approved limits a total of three times over two urine tests and a blood test collected both before and after my fight which is what makes these hGH result so difficult for me to accept as correct. This has also caused me to call the testing procedures into question. I have been informed that there are many possible reasons for a level of hGH to exceed what is allowed unknowingly and my doctors are researching those possibilities, which may include a much more serious health concern. I have also been informed about the unreliability of the current hGH testing that exists and it’s high rate of inaccuracy. I want to reiterate to my fans and the fans of mixed martial arts everywhere that I did not take any performance enhancing drugs or anything that would cause my natural level of hGH to exceed normal levels. ”

Upon our independent review of the laboratory procedures when testing for PED’s, it has been clear that the possibilities for incorrect test results are many. We were informed that the laboratory was advised to use the WADA approved rules and procedures when conducting the testing that they administer, yet the lab in Hong Kong contracted to do the testing was not WADA approved, which was surprising since there was a WADA approved lab available in Beijing China. The blood sample was collected post-fight when the natural hGH levels are the least reliable as the body in an attempt to heal itself will naturally release more hGH, but even more of a concern is that the more reliable and WADA required test for hGH known as the IGF-1 test was never conducted on the sample…