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Ricardo Almeida Announces Retirement

(Almeida retires with a record of 13-5)

In 2008, after a near four-year absence away from fighting, Ricardo Almeida’s desire to return to compete in MMA coaxed him out of an unannounced retirement to sign with the UFC. Since then the Renzo Gracie BJJ black belt has fought eight times, losing three and winning five.

At 34 years of age, Almeida has decided to walk away from the sport despite having a few good fights left in him to spend more time with his family, training his students like Frankie Edgar and to focus on running his Brazilian jiu-jitsu academy.

It’s been a pleasure watching you fight, Big Dog. Props for realizing when it was time to call it quits and doing it when you still had the wits to decide for yourself.

The UFC middleweight-turned-welterweight posted the following message on his personal website late Wednesday evening:

Ricardo Almeida 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.

Renzo Gracie, Mark Henry, Frankie Edgar 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.

-Ricardo Almeida.

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perimeterblack- March 31, 2011 at 1:25 pm
Ricardo will be missed; thanks for the fights Big Dog, keep teaching the gentle art
Edith Christ- March 31, 2011 at 11:48 am
Adeus grande cão. We'll miss your pretty face.
Bill Jackson- March 31, 2011 at 8:33 am
I had him winning his last fight against Mike Pyle. I wonder if the frustration of getting a bad decision had something to do with this.
PERPATRAITOR- March 31, 2011 at 8:20 am
I had no idea Jason Miller was his son.
Hesh to Steel- March 31, 2011 at 7:12 am
Props to him for quitting at the right time. Raising a child with autism is no joke, I'm sure. Gotta say, though, that I'm also baffled by the decision to capitalize the first letter of each word.
manutdfan- March 31, 2011 at 7:00 am
Happy trails and good vibes, Big Dog. GB Fam forever!
rcj5019- March 31, 2011 at 6:58 am
Mark Henry the boxing coach. He only taught Frankie Edgar how to box.... no big deal, especially considering he had no background in boxing and has some of the most crisp boxing going.
jimbonics- March 31, 2011 at 6:51 am
Extremely difficult to read when you cap the first letter of every word. Literally made my head hurt.
LOKI- March 31, 2011 at 6:41 am
Crom damn you Sloppyspray!
LOKI- March 31, 2011 at 6:39 am
I am a fan of Almeida simply because he talks and head-wags like a Puerto Rican street queen.
What I dont understand is why he would thank Sexual Chocolate?
Sloppyspray- March 31, 2011 at 6:32 am
Mark Henry.. as in "Sexual Chocolate" Mark Henry??? Awesome.
amsterdamheavy- March 31, 2011 at 6:06 am
His school is right up the street from me and he also works out at my gym, or wellness center as they call it. He's a good guy. Thanks for the fun Big Dog.
Me likey- March 31, 2011 at 4:21 am
you have to respect a guy having his priorities in order. anyone who fights knows the dedication you have to put in to get ready for a fight. from the time away from home to the trivial things like not being able to eat a normal dinner with you family because you are cutting weight. i can only imagine how much more complex the situation is for a ufc caliber fighter with an autistic child.
Waxedpants- March 31, 2011 at 3:40 am
@mblazer I Was Thinking The Same Thing
FrankShamrock- March 30, 2011 at 11:07 pm
It's fun to harpoon fighters while they're active, but something about a professional mma fighter retiring gets me all teary eyed and shit. Thanks for the show Big Dog, teach the new generation some quality BJJ.
Maine Blazer- March 30, 2011 at 10:44 pm
Not A Lot Of Love For Ricardo... I Just Love The Fact That He Capitalized The First Letter Of Each Word. It's Like He Is Half Yelling It Or Something... Damn; Typing Like This Is Annoying...
Carl Sagan- March 30, 2011 at 10:41 pm
He had a good run, props Big Dog! Refreshing not to hear him thank God, too.
Lesnarischamp- March 30, 2011 at 10:32 pm
unlike Silva's statement this was clearly written by Ricardo. I feel like his statement is headlines after headlines...
RwilsonR- March 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm
I respected Almeida's decision to leave the sport to focus on family the first time he did it, and I respect it again now. One of the things we end up respecting so much about the athletes in this sport is their singular focus and dedication. But to achieve that means you have be selfish, and focus on what you want, and make your goals the most important thing in your life, and other things necessarily have to fall by the wayside. Almeida has always wanted to make his family number one, and I'm glad he is making that his focus once again.
HaZaRd iF dRuNk- March 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm
I've always hated this guy for some reason. The only person id thank is Hughes for choking this ***** out.
Dante- March 30, 2011 at 10:08 pm
STFU dick head.^
PERPATRAITOR- March 30, 2011 at 10:07 pm
.....cares
PERPATRAITOR- March 30, 2011 at 10:06 pm
Who?
SethF- March 30, 2011 at 10:04 pm
Thanks for the memories, and thanks for walking away before some TUF washout TKOs you on the undercard of a UFC on Versus event.
uzithrasha- March 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm
you had some good shit. My fav moment of your career was beating nate the great. Love the video
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