Former UFC competitor Paul Kelly is calling it a career at age 36.
The Englishman announced his decision via social media on Monday. Kelly last competed in March 2020, earning a technical knockout victory against Simone Bottino at a regional event in his home country. It was his first fight since 2013 after serving a prison sentence for drug trafficking.
“I had my time! and I would never change my path,” Kelly wrote. “MMA give me a life I would never have dreamed of, met people I would never have met. No drug can compare to the feeling of getting your hand raised after walking out for a straighter with 20k watching.
“At some point we have to let go, I was full committed to trying one more time with the gaffer @teamkaobon to win a British title. Covid has taken another year so am calling it a day.
“My life is on a different path now, one that means I can’t commit my life to fighting anymore like my opponent will be. Winning is winning and for me now winning is making sure my family have bright future and to play catch up for the last 6 1/2 years spent away. I’ll miss fighting.”
Kelly ends his mixed martial arts career with a 15-5 career mark. He went 5-4 during a nine-bout UFC stint from 2008 to 2011, notably squaring off against the likes of Donald Cerrone, Dennis Siver and Marcus Davis.