James Wilks announces retirement from MMA: spinal injuryPosted on May 14, 2012, 07:34 PM by Mike Searson
UFC welterweight and "The Ultimate Fighter 9" alumni, James Wilks, has officially announced his retirement as an MMA fighter.Wilks made this announcement on his Twitter feed:
A few of you have been asking when my next fight is. Unfortunately, I have had to retire due to injury. Now coaching @lightningmma— James Wilks UFC (@lightningwilks) May 13, 2012
The British fighter began his pro-career in 2003 after he moved from England to the U.S. At that time, he was suffering from a neck injury caused years earlier as a rugby player.
Wilks told MMAjunkie.com: "It must have been from rugby because I was asked when my neck got broken, and I said I'd never broken it, and then they showed me the X-ray."
The doctors advised him that he has severe spinal stenosis, which results in an acute narrowing of the spinal canal and that he would have a "significantly high risk of paralysis" if he resumed his professional fighting career.
Wilks stated: "I had problems in a couple of the fights that I didn't really talk about. In one of the fights, I got hit, and the whole left side of my body went numb, all the way down to the toes. My bones are touching the spinal cord. There should be a gap, so when you get hit, you've got some leeway for it not to cut into the vertebrae. But my vertebrae have grown from the front and back, and they're touching the spinal cord."
Wilks retires with a record of seven wins and four losses in MMA, including one win and two defeats in the UFC. Wilks was the Season 9 Welterweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter. His most recent fight was a loss to Claude Patrick at UFC 120 in October 2010. He is currently coaching with Mike "Joker" Guymon at Lightning MMA in Laguna Hills, Califonia.