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And Now He’s Retired: Yves Edwards Calls It Quits After 17 Years of Thug-Jitsu

Lightweight MMA veteran Yves Edwards announced his retirement last night, after a career that spanned 17 years, 66 fights, and 21 appearances in the UFC. Edwards also competed for PRIDE, Strikeforce, Bellator, King of the Cage, MFC, Shooto — pretty much every promotion that mattered in the last two decades. Here’s what the “ThugJitsu Master” had to say on Facebook yesterday:

I’ve thought about how to say this for a week now, but there’s no better way than to just do it. So here goes; 1st I’d like to say thank you to all the people that I’ve met through and because of fighting, friends, training partners, coaches, fight fans, doctors and even some promoters/matchmakers. A lot of you guys have always shown me nothing but love and I really appreciate that.

Fighting has been a part of my life ever since I was 17 and that makes this a hard pill to swallow but it’s time for me to end this chapter and move on to the next part of my life. So thank you again to all the people that have supported me through this, whether it was through cheers, training, coaching or anything else at all.

Yves

Edwards had his share of career highlights over the years — who could forget his jumping head kick knockout of Josh Thomson, or his hopping-knee KO of Edson Berto, or his destruction of Jeremy Stephens? — but his performances fell off the rails in recent years, and he went winless in his last five fights in the UFC. His last three matches resulted in a first-round knockout loss to Yancy Medeiros (which was later overturned due to Medeiros testing positive for marijuana), a third-round rear-naked choke loss to Piotr Hallmann, and a first-round armbar loss to Akbarh Arreola at UFC Fight Night 57. If you’re a well-known veteran who starts dropping fights to guys without Wiki pages is a pretty clear sign that your time in the sport is up.

The 38-year-old retires with a professional MMA record of 42-22-1 with one no-contest. Honor his work by watching some classic Yves Edwards videos after the jump…


(Yves Edwards finishes three opponents in a row, in a gymnasium back in 1998. He chokes out the first two, then scores a leg-kick TKO over the third guy, who’s maybe a little too tough for his own good.)


(The potato chip faceoff with Cody McKenzie, before UFC: Fight for the Troops 2…)


(…and the finish of their wild fight.)


(“I Am a Fighter” promo from Showtime.)


(Another old-school battle: Yves Edwards vs. Tim Horton at World Shoot Wrestling in Pasadena, Texas, 6/12/98.)


(Yves teaches the superman punch.)


(Yves teaches the thai clinch.)

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