Ricardo Almeida Retires From Mixed Martial Arts

Ricardo Almeida has decided to retire from Mixed Martial Arts.

Ricardo Almeida, the long time UFC, PRIDE and Pancrase veteran, has decided to hang up the gloves. He made the decision shortly after losing a decision to Mike Pyle on UFC 128, stating that he would now move on and focus more on his Jiujitsu Academy, coaching his teammates in the UFC, and his family.

He made the announcement to leave competing from professional mixed martial arts, on his facebook page:

Pro Fighting Chapter Comes to a Close, but the Book is Still Being written.

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, specially if your focus is not at 100%.

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 Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White for their leadership and vision which brought the sport to new heights. I would also like to thank Joe Silva for giving me the opportunity to compete among the best martial artists in the world.

Renzo Gracie, Mark Henry, Frankie Edgar and all my teammates who I could not have gone through this challenge without.

Finally I would like to thank my wife, children and family as well as my students. You will have my integral dedication from here on.

Lastly the fans who make MMA the greatest sport there is.

The 34-year-old is a 3rd degree black belt under Renzo Gracie, and has been in some of the most entertaining bouts against a few of MMA's most talented fighters including Nate Marquardt, Matt Hughes, Matt Lindland, Kazuo Misaki, Ryo Chonan, Patrick Cote, Kendall Grove, and many more.

Almeida had an illustrious MMA career that started out in 2000, making a name for himself fighting in PRIDE and the UFC. He first decided to leave the sport back in 2004 following a 6-fight winning streak, and made a comeback four years later, winning 5 of his next 8 UFC bouts in both middleweight and welterweight divisions.

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