As much as we all love the smack talk and conflict that is created with the bad boy more villianous fighters, we also absolutely love the guys who are peaceful big-hearted warriors. There always needs to be some good to compliment the bad in life-it creates a harmonious balance for our souls’ duality of light and dark. Ricardo Almeida is one of those good guys. He is number four on our Top Ten List of Most Altruistic Individuals in 2010 thanks to the 28 miles he paddled around NYC just days after his UFC 117 bout with Matt Hughes to help raise cash for kids with Autism. How can you not cheer for and love a guy like that?
That being said, it is with a bit of sadness in our hearts that we let you know Ricardo Almeida has officially announced his retirement from fighting MMA. He made the announcement yesterday afternoon on his website–here’s the official 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.
If anyone can attest to what a truly genuine and classy person Almeida is, it’s our Bauzen. He spent an entire day with the guy some months ago filming coverage of that charity paddle race and he had nothing but accolades about Almeida afterwards. Farewell, Ricardo Almeida and thank you for everything you’ve done, both inside and outside the octagon. [source]