To hear Cung Le tell it, his treatment by the UFC surrounding his last two bouts left a lot to be desired. He recently appeared on Nate Quarry’s “Round X Round” webcast, where he went into detail about the lead up to his fight with Rich Franklin, the fallout from his bout with Michael Bisping, and the drug test fiasco that put a seemingly permanent hold on his competitive fighting career.
While word was out, at the time of his Franklin fight, that Le was suffering some kind of foot injury, according to him it was severe enough to have him in a walking boot, but not so bad that the UFC wasn’t willing to book him without medical clearance first (transcript via MMAFighting):
“Two weeks after that Dan Henderson fought Lyoto Machida[sic]. I was in Los Angeles and they told me to meet them after the fight. I told them the doctor still hadn’t cleared me. ‘Hasn’t cleared you? You’ve got to step up for the company.’ I told them I couldn’t get the doctor to give me a notice. I don’t think they can do that. I told them hopefully I would be cleared in a week. Dana says, ‘OK. You’ve got to let me know right away.’ That night I’m driving and my phone blows up. Dana had announced my fight with Rich Franklin in Macau.”
But that wasn’t the only time Le says he felt pressured to go along with the company line to his own detriment. After his fight with Michael Bisping in 2014, Le’s drug test came back for what appeared to be abnormal levels of HGH, right up until it became abundantly clear that the lab had completely botched their analysis of Le’s sample. According to Le, however, that didn’t stop Dana White from pressuring him to admit he’d taken PEDs anyway:
“Gary [Ibarra] presented that to them,” said Le. “At the time I didn’t even want to talk to them. I was disgusted with what happened. They agreed to lift my suspension and let it go. Of course, the day Gary calls me and says [UFC] are going to release a thing saying that the suspension has been lifted and they’re retracting what happened, Dana called me and tells me if I just admit it, it’ll be easier.
“The public would forgive me more. ‘Look at the pitcher from the New York Giants[sic], he got busted for something.’ Dana was saying it’s easier just to admit it. I just didn’t want to talk to him anymore. Had to hang up. He might as well have just sent some thugs to my house to strong-arm me or something. It’s just ridiculous. Sometimes you get the s**t end of the stick and they just happen to be the s**t.”
All of which has Le understandably disinterested in fighting out the last two bouts on his Zuffa contract. At the moment, instead he’s engaged in a legal battle with the UFC as one of several fighters involved in a class action lawsuit against the fight promotion over it’s perceived anti-competitive business practices.
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