Jimi Manuwa has announced his retirement from MMA following a knockout loss to light heavyweight up-and-comer Aleksandar Rakic in the co-main event of UFC Stockholm on Saturday.
A legend of the U.K. scene, “Posterboy” took to social media to make the announcement, highlighting that his all-action, fan-friendly style had taken it’s toll on his body over the years.
The post read:
“I came to London from Nigeria when I was 10 yrs old in 1990. I grew up in south London and had crazy teenage years filled with fights and life lessons. In 2006, I was 26 years old and I discovered the UFC while flicking through the sports channels late at night. It immediately captured me; the likes of Rampage Jackson, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Shogun were my favourite fighters and I became a fan instantly."
“I’d never set foot in any martial arts gym in my life and neither didn’t have any plans to. In 2008, I was 28 years old and I said to myself that I’m gonna fight for the UFC. I got off my sofa and started training Muay Thai and BJJ, I had no martial arts experience but i was a tough cunt from south London. Martial arts immediately put more structure and discipline into my crazy life and helped me become a much better person than I was previously. I had my first pro fight after 2 weeks training and I won. within the first 2 years I was U.K. number 1, but the goal was to fight for the UFC. I won all my fights by KO and in 2012 I accepted a UFC contract after turning them down twice with an 11-0 record, all knockouts."
“I’ve had a great martial arts career and the last 4 fights have been tough losses to take not only for myself but for my family who is always first. I’ve given out a mostly knockouts and taken a few myself, that’s my fan loving style but it takes a toll on the body especially concussions which are not visible to the eye. I’ve met a lot of great people along the way and travelled the world but it’s time to leave this chapter and on to the next one because there’s a life after fighting and I feel it’s my obligation to give more to combat sports, which I love dearly outside of fighting."
“Thank you @danawhite and the @ufc for letting me showcase my skills and thank you to all my coaches and training partners who have helped and taught me along the way , much love to the fans and last but not least much love to my dear family who together we made this dream a reality.”
After signing for the UFC in 2012, Manuwa amassed a record of 6-6 under the UFC banner. As he mentioned in his retirement post, the Londoner leaves the sport on a four-fight skid, having suffered losses to Volkan Oezdemir, Jan Blachowicz, Thiago Santos and Rakic.
A nod to his popularity in the U.K., Manuwa headlined two events in London. He lost his first headline bout in the English capital against another newly retired light heavyweight, Alexander Gustafsson. In his next London main event, he stopped Corey Anderson in the first round in March 2017.