Former Strikeforce middleweight champion and UFC fighter Cung Le announced his retirement from fighting on Tuesday through his management, Athletic Management Representation Group.
In a prepared statement, Le thanked his family and several others for their commitment and dedication through his 17-year fighting career that began in kickboxing in 1997 and ended with his last outing inside the UFC Octagon in 2014.
“After several months of thought and discussion with my wife and family, we realized 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,” the 42-year-old wrote. “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,” Le added. “I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank Scott Coker for his long-time friendship and support of my career, Gary Ibarrra 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.”
Le fought four times in the UFC. He was defeated in his promotional debut by Wanderlei Silva, but won his next two fights against Patrick Cote and Rich Franklin. He last fought at UFC Fight Night 48 in August, losing to Michael Bisping.
In December, Le was among the fighters that filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the UFC.
“I’m honored to be part of this lawsuit against the UFC for all the past UFC fighters like Carlos Newton and Nate (Quarry) and for all the future fighters,” said Le during a press conference announcing the suit. “And potentially one day if my kids want to pursue the same path as I do, they would have a better situation to be in. I’m just very excited to get this going.”
Despite his legal grievances with the fight promotion, Le recognized and thanked the UFC in his retirement announcement.
“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,” he said.