Cung Le, a former Strikeforce champion, announced his retirement in a prepared statement Tuesday.
Le, 42-year-old, entered into MMA in 2006 and won the Strikeforce middleweight title two years later when he bested Frank Shamrock. He won his first six pro bouts after a 17-0 run in kickboxing.
While balancing MMA with an acting career that included roles in movies such as Pandorum, Tekken, Puncture Wounds, Dragon Eyes and The Man with the Iron Fists, Le signed with the UFC in 2011. He lost to Wanderlei Silva, but rebounded with wins over Patrick Cote and Rich Franklin.
Last year, Le was involved in a lengthy legal battle with the promotion after they fined and suspended him for having elevated levels of testosterone following a loss to Michael Bisping. Eventually, both the fine and suspension were rescinded after it was found that flaws were present in the testing.
In December, Le and two others filed a class-action lawsuit against Zuffa.
Below is the complete statement, provided to MMAjunkie.com:
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.