UK female MMA pioneer Rosi Sexton has announced here retirement, bringing an end to a 12 year career in the sport.

Sexton had appeared to be on the verge of retirement a couple of years ago, but the UFC opening their doors to female fighters and inviting her to compete proved to be a dream come true and an opportunity too good to pass up even although she would be undersized for the bantamweight division.

Her brief stint in the Octagon didn’t go according to plan, suffering back-to-back decision losses including a brutal three round beating at the hands of Jessica Andrade.

Sexton opted to carry on though and returned to the Cage Warriors promotion earlier this month to take on Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Unfortunately for the 36 year-old that decision backfired resulting in her being knocked out in the second round, and reluctantly led her to the conclusion that it was time to hang up her gloves.

“Where do I go from here?” Sexton mused in a blog announcing his retirement. “I could keep chasing after the fight I’d finally feel happy to retire on. I’m afraid that as a fighter, I’ll be remembered for the losses, and not for what I did well. I’m afraid that’s what I’ll remember. There’s a large part of me that desperately wants to go back and put it right, as though I could fix everything with just one solid win.

Happy endings are elusive though. We know how that story often goes. And even if I did manage to produce that spectacular performance I’m looking for – would that be enough for me? Could any fight ever be enough? And what about after that?”

It’s an unfortunate end to a very respectable career that saw Sexton amass an overall 13-5 record, winning a Cage Warriors title along the way and becoming one of the UK’s most recognised fighters in the process.

Sexton even enjoyed some mainstream coverage in the British Isles at a time when it was almost unheard of for a mixed martial artist to do so.

Part of the fascination from the media came from the fact that Sexton was about as far removed from the typical stereotype of a so-called ‘cage fighter’ as it was possible to get.

Of course being female was a part of it, but it was the fact that she also had a first class degree in mathematics from Cambridge, a PhD in Theoretical Computer Science in addition to being a qualified Osteopath that really caught people’s attention and helped open people’s eyes to the possibility that there perhaps was more to the sport than meets the eye.

The good news for Sexton is that those qualifications will now help ensure that she has a bright future outside of the cage as she heads into the next chapter in her life.

We wish her well.

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Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.