Ross Pearson (L) faces Francisco Trinaldo in their lightweight bout during UFC Fight Night 81

Ross Pearson has officially retired from mixed martial arts. The announcement came on April 8 via Pearson’s Instagram page.

The 26-time UFC veteran first joined the promotion in 2009 after winning The Ultimate Fighter. He went on to become one of the sports most entertaining figures, being involved in three bouts that received ‘Fight of the Night’ honors.

Ross Pearson is a pioneer of British MMA; he paved the way for future fighters while always representing his nation with pride.

Throughout his career, the Brit competed against fighters near the¬†highest level of mixed martial arts, such as Jorge Masvidal, Paul Felder, and Al Iaquinta. His wars with Edson Barboza and John Makdessi will go down as some of the best in UFC history. As well as putting on entertaining bouts, Pearson had a niche for finishing fights; he knocked out title challenger Gray Maynard in 2014 and earned a ‘Performance of the Night’ bonus by knocking out Sam Stout.

Although he has retired from mixed martial arts, the 34-year-old stated that his career as a competitor is not over, and will be keeping an open mind for the future.

He finished his statement by thanking the UFC, Dana White and his fans.

Full statement below:

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