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Mike Pyle confirms that UFC 222 fight vs. Zak Ottow will be his last

“Quicksand” is ending his MMA career after UFC 222.

MMA: UFC 207-Pyle vs Garcia Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

At 42 years of age, the 42nd professional MMA fight of Mike Pyle’s career will be his last.

On Monday’s latest edition of The MMA Hour, the welterweight veteran announced that he will be retiring after his UFC 222 preliminary card bout vs. Zak Ottow.

“It’s been a long road,” Pyle said. “We’ll hang the gloves up and move on. I’m excited to make that move. I’m ready to retire. I’m 43 this year, it’s time.”

Pyle (27-13-1) made his MMA debut way back in 1999, losing a decision to former UFC light-heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson. According to Pyle, he weighed in at 175 pounds for that fight. His next fight would be a submission win vs. longtime UFC contender Jon Fitch.

Ten years into his career, having previously held the WEC welterweight title, “Quicksand” finally made his UFC debut, losing by arm-triangle choke vs. Brock Larson at UFC 98. He’s since had 17 more fights inside the Octagon, with only four of those bouts going the distance. His most notable wins came against Rick Story, Josh Neer, Ricardo Almeida, and John Hathaway.

As he approaches his swan song, Pyle says it wasn’t difficult at all to decide that this was the right time to retire.

“It’s more of a relief,” Pyle said, “It’s just time to move on. There’s always pressure on you when you’re a fighter. When you’re gonna compete, you’re always in training, you’re always getting banged around. It’s a rough sport, it’s a rough way to live, and it’s a rough way to make a paycheck. For me, pretty much at this point, the juice is no longer worth the squeeze. The paychecks just aren’t big enough for me to stay in harms way at my age. I’m easily going to walk way. It’s really not hard, to be honest.”

Pyle hasn’t fought since a brutal KO loss to Alex Garcia at UFC 207, which was preceded by a similarly vicious KO defeat vs. Alberto Mina. His last win was on February 6th, 2016, when he scored a dramatic comeback TKO of Sean Spencer in Las Vegas.

UFC 222 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 3rd, with a women’s featherweight championship bout between Cris Cyborg and Yana Kunitskaya serving as the main event. Pyle vs. Ottow will be on the Fight Pass portion of the broadcast, which begins at 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT.

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