MMA  > General MMA  > Big dog out
March 31, 2011, 12:51 PM
I didn't see it comming :(

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Ricardo Almeida announced his retirement from mixed martial arts on his Facebook page. The 34-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt walked away from the sport coming off a unanimous decision loss to Mike Pyle at UFC 128.

???After much deliberation since my fight at UFC 128 I have decided to step away from the sport as a fighter. I will continue to fully support the UFC as a coach and of course as a big fan. I would like to thank [UFC CEO] Lorenzo Fertitta and [UFC President] Dana White for their leadership and vision which brought the sport to new heights. I would also like to thank [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva for giving me the opportunity to compete among the best martial artists in the world.

Back in 2008 I decided to return to MMA. Since then I have had the privilege of fighting eight times in the UFC. As a competitor I can think of no bigger thrill than to stand in the center of the octagon with my hands raised. During these almost four years it has been a personal struggle to find balance between my fighting career, caring for my son who was diagnosed with autism soon after I signed a six-fight deal with the UFC, teaching at my growing Jiu-Jitsu Academy and the family duties we all have.

MMA is a great sport but also physically and mentally unforgiving. It is a dangerous task to step in the octagon, [especially] if your focus is not at 100 [percent].???

Almeida leaves with a respecatable 13-5 record (5-3 in the UFC) with notable wins over Nate Marquardt, Kazuo Misaki, Matt Horwich, and Kendall Grove.
March 31, 2011  12:56 PM ET

Yeah I didnt see this coming as well. Some people just know when to hang em up.

 
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