UFC and Strikeforce veteran Cung Le retires from MMA, after a very rough few months in the sport. The trouble started when the former Strikeforce champion got beaten silly by Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night 48. A bloodied Le was finished in round four, but this was just the tip of the iceberg.

It was later revealed that Cung Le had failed a drug test for HGH (Human Growth Hormone), and he was pretty much dragged through the mud by media and fans. Le was hit with a nine month suspension, although the UFC rescinded it after it was found that they had bungled the test by allowing a fugazi laboratory in China to handle the test. There were no apologies by the promotion.

Then the troubled ex star joined the much debated UFC lawsuit, and now we learn he is done with fighting. Check out his statement to the fans and the UFC:

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.

Update

The UFC president Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta responded to the news:

Said UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, “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. We wish him well in his retirement and future endeavors.”

“Cung Le was awesome and would take any fight,” UFC President Dana White added. “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.”

Cung Le retires from MMA, and leaves a storied and somewhat tragic ending to a 12-fight MMA career that spanned from 2006 to today. Le is also a Sanshou master with a 17-0 record. We salute you!