Irish fighter Cathal Pendred has announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 28.

In a statement Pendred revealed that he’d made the decision to hang up his gloves as his passion for the sport had dwindled in recent times.

A former Cage Warriors welterweight champion, Pendred made his way to the UFC via The Ultimate Fighter Season 19 where he reached the semi-final stages.

While he lacked finesse as a fighter and was often criticized for his grinding style, Pendred was hailed as a hero in his native Ireland and initially put together a solid run in the Octagon, stringing together a four-fight winning streak in the middleweight division over a 12 month period.

However, Pendred came unstuck in the second half of this year, first losing out by split decision to John Howard at UFC 189, then suffering a first round KO loss against Tom Breese at UFC Fight Night 76 in Dublin.

Pendred retires with an overall 17-4-1 career record. Read his full retirement statement below.

“I am a passionate person and I always give 100% to what I do. I have been passionate about MMA for a long time and my focus on the sport has been my driving force for the last 9 years.

I now find that my passion is no longer what it was and I feel that it is time for me to move on. I have other interests that I want to pursue. The time is right to close one door and open another. My love of MMA remains with me. I intend to maintain my involvement with the sport, but I no longer wish to compete.

I have developed as a person because of mixed martial arts, as I learned to cope with the discipline and demands of the sport. MMA has made me a stronger person. This strength will carry through into other areas of my life as I move on to pursue new goals.”