Veteran UFC fighter Ricardo Almeida shocked full-contact fans around the world when he announced he would be retiring from the sport. At 34 years old, it comes as a surprise to many who have enjoyed watching Almeida's MMA fights over the past 11 years.
Almeida kicked off his MMA career against Akira Shoji, winning his first bout via unaminous decision. Almeida lost two of his next three fights, seemingly having problems adjusting to his new sport. He would then go on an impressive six fight winning streak, defeating well respected MMA fighters like Nate Marquardt and Ryo Chonan.
After taking a four year break from the sport of MMA, Almeida's return to the UFC started out on a good note. Ricardo won four of his first five fights in the UFC, slowly climbing his way up the rankings. He was then derailed by former UFC welterweight champion, Matt Hughes.
Ricardo Almeida listed many reasons for his decision to walk away from MMA. His three children, business, and personal life, were all factors in his decision to retire. While it was initially surprising to hear Almeida was leaving the sport of MMA, I definitely understand his reasons for leaving the UFC. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out there are many health risks associated with combat sports. Walking away while you still have your health is always good advice for any MMA fighter.
At this point in his MMA career, Almeida is already financially stable and he doesn't need to take any more risks in order to live comfortably. It's not uncommon for "McDojo" owners to bring in close to six figures a year and I can only imagine how much a well decorated Brazilian Jiu jitsu practitioner like Almeida, brings in a year from his school.
While I'm sure Almeida would rather leave MMA on a winning note, his 13-5 record is nothing to be ashamed of. For someone that started his MMA career as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter, Almeida did a good job, suffering only one knockout loss to Andrei Semenov. Almeida has paid his dues and now deserves to enjoy the rewards of his hard work.
Brian Knapp," Almeida Retires from MMA " Sherdog.com
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