43 year-old Australian UFC veteran Anthony Perosh has announced that he’s retiring from the sport.

Perosh made the decision after suffering back-to-back first round stoppage losses against Sean O’Connell and Gian Villante in 2015.

‘The Hippo’ first competed in the UFC in 2006, suffering back-to-back losses. That looked to be an end to his time in the Octagon, but he then unexpectedly made his way to the UFC in February of 2010, doing the promotion a favor by stepping in as a late replacement to fight Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic at UFC 110 in Australia on just two days notice.

Perosh lost to Cro Cop, but he would go on to stay in the UFC ranks for a further nine fights spanning nearly six years, going 5-5 in the process and racking up wins over the likes of Cyrille Diabate, Vinny Magalhaes and Guto Inocente along the way.

Read Perosh’s full retirement statement below.

“I’m retiring from fighting in MMA. I‘ve had a great career in MMA spanning 12 years, 25 fights, 15 wins & 5 wins in the UFC all by stoppage and 3 by Rear Naked Choke. I always went out for the win by stoppage and I am proud of what I have achieved in my career.

I am 43 years old (young!) and I told myself I would retire if I either couldn’t keep up with the training, didn’t want it anymore or if I lost more than I won. The last fight camps were hard on me physically and mentally. I didn’t get the win and I knew straight after my last fight that I had had enough. I’m finishing with a UFC record of 5 wins and 4 losses in the Light Heavyweight division.

On the bright side I am retiring with all my mental bearings and apart from the usual wear and tear I am physically fit!

The next goal is focussing on my two MMA gyms with 650 students and MMA and BJJ competition teams. I am very proud of all of my students and can’t wait to put all of my time in to them and see them get better and succeed. I hope to be back in the UFC even more than before but this time walking behind my students who make it to the UFC as their coach and corner.

I have learnt a lot in my time in the UFC. You need to surround yourself with good people such as coaches and training partners and avoid the naysayers and haters. Have a dream, train hard and believe in yourself and you will get what you want.

The UFC have been nothing but good to me. Thank you to Dana White, Lorenzo Feritta, Joe Silva and Tom Wright for the opportunity to fight so many times for the biggest and best MMA organisation in the world. And a big thank you to Peter Kloczko and all of the support staff at the UFC who made my life a lot easier doing PR and all the paperwork!

I want to thank Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn and the entire team from Jackson-Wink MMA gym in Albuquerque for taking me in and coaching and training me for my last 3 fights. You all made me feel very welcome and looked after my best interests all the time and really cared about seeing me improve. I am in your team for life!

I want to thank all of my students and training partners from my MMA gym SPMA, my Australian coaches Steve Rudic, Shaun Sullivan and Denis Roberts. Extra big thanks to Steve Rudic for being my first striking coach and being in my corner in all 9 of my UFC Light Heavyweight fights. Thanks to my brother John for being my extra corner in my 3 international fights.

Thanks to Paul Dallow for helping with my sponsors and all the UFC paperwork in my first 8 UFC fights and thanks to Reebok for their sponsorship in my last fight.

Finally, I could not have done it without the unconditional and continuous support over the years of my family, friends and fans. You really make it easier to keep on doing what fighters do best which is fight! Thank you.

See you all soon!

Anthony Perosh”

“The Hippo”