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Cung Le announces retirement from all combat sports

If Cung Le ever engages in combat again, it will be of the courtroom variety or the silver screen.

But his days in the ring and cage are over.

The 42-year-old Le announced his retirement Tuesday. After an initial report by MMAJunkie that Le had retired from MMA competition, Le's manager, Gary Ibarra, told via text message that Le's retirement also includes kickboxing and all forms of combat sports.

Following a distinguished kickboxing career, Le entered MMA in 2006 and compiled a 9-3 record, a run which included a reign as Strikeforce middleweight champion.

His final bout, against Michael Bisping in August at UFC Fight Night 48, resulted in a TKO loss and led to a major controversy.

Le tested positive for elevated levels of human growth hormone in a drug test which was overseen by the UFC, since the fight was held in Macau, where there is no commission oversight.

The Vietman native and Bay Area resident was initially suspended for nine months; which was then extended to a year; then dropped entirely after Le vigorously protested his innocence, a stand he maintains to this day. Le demanded an apology from the UFC, but later dropped the request.

Last month, Le was named as a plaintiff in the class-action antitrust lawsuit against Zuffa, along with fellow fighters Jon Fitch and Nate Quarry. That case remains pending.

Le released a statement to the media about his decision:

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.

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