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Video: Ricardo Almeida Discusses Retirement, MMA Judging

It’s been less than a month since Ricardo Almeida announced his retirement from MMA competition, but so far, it seems to be treating him pretty well. Though nobody likes to go out on a loss, Almeida recognized it was time to hang it up. As he says in this revealing new video profile from Veazy Street Productions:

I have a lot of things going on outside of my fighting career — my family, I have a jiu-jitsu school to take care of, I train other fighters — so perhaps I felt like I wasn’t giving 100% to everything and doing everything I could. To be in the Octagon not 100% focused, to be in there not giving 100% of everything that you have is a dangerous thing…I just felt that after the loss to Pyle it just pushed me a little lower on the ladder. I felt it was going to take too much time to climb back up. I can’t say that if I had won, that I would be retired

I didn’t want to wait until I got knocked out 4-5 times in a row for people to tell me that I should quit. I wanted to walk out of it happy, I wanted to walk out of it healthy, I wanted to walk away with love, and I think the next step is to focus on myself as more of a diplomatic approach of being a coach, being an instructor, and being able to focus on my family.”

Almeida acknowledges that he’s already retired from the sport once, but because of his age and the level that the sport has progressed to, we shouldn’t expect another comeback out of the Big Dog.

He also talks more about his recent judging gig in New Jersey, and did his best to address some of our concerns:

I don’t want to change no judging system, I don’t want to start like this big trouble, I just want to take care of what I can take care of and be a positive influence for the people around me. A lot of people were concerned, ‘you know Ricardo, all of a sudden you’re gonna be a judge and you have a lot of guys who are part of your camp who you’re gonna be a corner’…

People have to understand, the New Jersey Athletic Control Board here in New Jersey is very proactive…when Nick Lembo from the athletic commission called me, ‘hey Ricardo, would you like to do this?’ I’m like yes, absolutely. I’ve known many people in the athletic commission for many years, and if I’m around I’d be happy to contribute. But I’ll never put myself in the position that I am judging one of my guys. The New Jersey commission would not allow that to happen. If there’s someone from my school or someone who I have a close affiliation with, I just don’t want to sit in the corner. And that’s why there’s like a couple other judges that are gonna step into my place and do it.”

Still, Ricardo does have some thoughts on how to improve judging:

A lot of these guys really need to understand what’s going technically in a fight, to be able to better to judge it, and not just judge what the crowd likes to see. And if that’s how we’re gonna judge it, let’s just make a summit, like a yearly summit for each one of the athletic commissions, and ‘this is what we’re judging on’…if we have a certain level of education, it would make it a little more consistent…

I really care about where the sport grows, and where the sport goes, and I really care that the guy who’s supposed to win the fight wins the fight. That’s something that’s important to me. Not just because of who I am, but because I’ve been there and I’ve been in some fights that I thought I won and that just didn’t happen. So I care that the next guy doesn’t have that happen to him.”

Cagepotato Comments

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d.harn- April 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm
Lots of respect for Ricardo, Never a favorite fighter of mine, but lots of respect.
Fried Taco- April 27, 2011 at 12:45 pm
A judges summit is a great idea, as long as it is led by Cecil Peoples and Chuck Wolfe.