Chris Cariaso has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts at the age of 34.
The former UFC flyweight challenger announced his decision to MMAJunkie.com on Wednesday.
“I’ve decided after 22 years of active fighting to call it a career,” Cariaso said. “It’s a bittersweet decision, as fighting and competing in a ring or cage is about all that I have known for a lifetime.
“The last four-and-a-half years fighting under the umbrella of Zuffa have been nothing short of amazing. I have so many memories and have been able to travel the world doing what I love best. Honestly, my life is what many only get to dream about and I have to thank so many people for making dreams a reality to me.”
Cariaso ends his professional career with a 17-8 record. He competed for the UFC, World Extreme Cagefighting and Strikeforce since making his debut in 2006. “Kamikaze” notably challenged for the flyweight title at UFC 178, where he was submitted by reigning champion Demetrious Johnson with a kimura 2:29 into the second round.
The San Francisco native ended his Octagon tenure on a three-fight losing streak, with his last defeat coming against Sergio Pettis at UFC 192 this past October. He owns notable triumphs over the likes of Louis Smolka, Takeya Mizugaki, Vaughan Lee and Will Campuzano.
Cariaso told MMAJunkie.com that he wants to focus on his family as well as managing his two gyms, Rise Combat Sports in Tucson and Fight and Fitness in San Francisco.