UFC heavyweight Soa Palelei announces retirement from active competition

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

A third fighter in as many days has announced their retirement, as heavyweight Soa Palelei on Monday said it’s time for him to walk away from the sport. The Australian had spent the last two years in the Octagon, winning four of six fights, but after a TKO loss to Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in August, Palelei decided it was time for him to move on.

Below is the statement Palelei released on Twitter:

“I want to take an opportunity to officially announce my retirement from the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Thank you to the UFC, Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Joe Silva for giving me a second chance to fight for the organization. I’ve had a great time, but feel it’s time to focus on my family and other career interests. After several months of thought and discussion with my family and my team, we realize our future includes many things in MMA, but active competition in the sport is no longer one of them. This isn’t goodbye, as I will still be very much involved in the sport but just not as a fighter. I want to help further MMA around the world and give my contribution to the sport. I know that I have, and will continue to contribute much to the growth of our sport outside of the Octagon. Stay tuned guys as there is still so much more to come from “The Hulk” ‪#‎WatchThisSpace‬ ‪#‎MuchLove”

Palelei joins Nick Newell and Rick Hawn this week in announcing the end to each of their respective careers. The heavyweight ends his career run with an overall record of 22-5, with 18 career wins by (T)KO and the four remaining by submission.

Penick’s Analysis: This isn’t the most surprising move. At 38-years-old, Palelei’s gone as far as he was going to go in his UFC run. Given he was stopped in his last fight, and the fact that he’s in the heavyweight field where he’s facing a lot more damage than others might, this is probably a wise move for him. He had a real solid run in the sport, and picked up some decent wins down the stretch despite a bad return bout with Nikita Krylov. We wish him the best in whatever he opts to pursue next.

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