Ricardo "Big Dog" Almeida retires from Mixed Martial ArtsPosted on March 31, 2011, 05:23 AM by Anton Gurevich
Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran and one of the most decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practicioners in the game, Ricardo "Big Dog" Almeida, announced his retirement from the sport of Mixed Martial Arts at the age of 34.
Almeida started his professional career back in the year 2000, with a victory over Akira Shoji at Pride 12. Four years later, Almeida won the Pancrase Middleweight Title, dethroning multi-time King of Pancrase Nate "The Great" Marquardt.
Ricardo Almeida's UFC run includes 8 fights, five of which the "Big Dog" won. Almeida's only losses are against Patrick Cote (Split Decision), Mike Pyle (Unanimous Decision) and Matt Hughes (Submission). Brazilian's official Mixed Martial Arts record stands at 13-5.
Here's Almeida's Official Statement:
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.
, Mark Henry, 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.