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Cung Le retires from MMA, UFC's Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta issue joint statement

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No hard feelings!

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Cung Le, 42, has called it a mixed martial arts (MMA) career after nearly nine years in the sport and 12 professional matches.

He issued the following statement:

"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."

Le, who defeated Frank Shamrock in March 2008 to become the Strikeforce Middleweight champion, reportedly did not close the door on resuming his kickboxing career at a later date. The Vietnamese-born Sanshou specialist was undefeated (17-0) prior to making his transition to MMA in 2006.

It's no surprise that Le soured on MMA. He requested to be released by UFC, where he compiled an even record (2-2) with wins over Rich Franklin and Patrick Cote, after the promotion screwed up his drug testHe initially just wanted an apology, but as time passed he clearly wanted more.

In fact, Le is the most notable name in a class-action antitrust lawsuit that was filed against UFC in Dec. 2014. One that UFC plans to "vigorously defend" with its "powerhouse" legal team.

Regardless, UFC execs Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White showered Le with praise when news broke that he would step away from the sport.

From UFC.com:

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."

Kill 'em with kindness!

Le retires with a modest, but impressive MMA record (9-3). Especially when you consider that he more or less did it as a hobby later in his career, focusing most of his time and energy trying to become an action movie star rather than inside a sweaty gym training for fights.

Onward.