Cung Le Requests Release from UFC, Says Promotion Didn’t Give Him Benefit of the Doubt

By Tristen Critchfield Dec 3, 2014
Cung Le says he was “proud to represent all fighters” by standing up to the UFC. | Photo: Dave Mandel/

Cung Le’s fractured relationship with the Ultimate Fighting Championship may be beyond repair.

Following his loss to Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night in Macau, the Las Vegas-based promotion announced that Le had tested positive for an excess level of HGH and would be suspended for 12 months. The UFC later determined that Le’s elevated HGH level alone did not indicate that he took performance enhancing drugs prior to facing Bisping and lifted the fighter’s suspension due to a lack of conclusive lab results.

The damage had already been done to Le’s reputation, however. During an interview on Wednesday’s Gross Point Blank podcast, Le revealed that he recently asked out of his UFC contract, which currently has two fights remaining.

“I asked [manager Gary Ibarra] to ask the UFC to release me because of what I’ve done for the UFC and what they’ve done to me,” Le said. “I really don’t want to be a part of a promotion that treats their fighters [without] the benefit of the doubt.

“On one hand, I can say when I stood up to the UFC and won, I did it for all the fighters,” he continued. “At least this won’t happen to any other fighter again because of me. I was proud to represent all the fighters. At least I can say the UFC will have to think twice before they pull this on another fighter.”

Whether or not Le’s request will be granted remains to be seen, but if it happens, it isn’t a foregone conclusion that he would take his talents to Bellator MMA to work with Scott Coker. Le previously worked with Coker during Strikeforce’s rise to prominence as MMA’s No. 2 promotion.

“Just because I asked to be released from the UFC doesn’t mean I’m going to run over to Bellator,” Le said. “Yes, Scott’s been my friend for 20 years. He wouldn’t have done anything like that. He would’ve given me the benefit of the doubt.”

Le said that he hasn’t spoken to anyone from the UFC since a few days after the results of the drug test were announced. Another option for Le could be retirement. According to Ibarra, who also appeared on Gross Point Blank, Le’s career “is not incumbent on him being a fighter in the UFC.”

While Le’s next move remains uncertain, it seems pretty clear that he won’t step into the Octagon anytime soon.

“If I was gonna fight for anyone I would definitely fight for Scott Coker, but I do not want to fight for the UFC after what happened,” he said.


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