UFC fighter Cody Donovan Retires

UFC light-heavyweight Cody Donovan has announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 33.

Donovan joined the UFC at the tail end of 2012 with a 7-2 record and made an immediate impression by earning a ‘Fight Of The Night’ bonus thanks to a first round KO against Nick Penner.

However, Donovan was never able to capture that form again, suffering three stoppage losses due to strikes by Ovince St. Preux, Gian Villante and most recently Nikita Krylov in Ireland earlier this year.

Donovan says that ultimately it was persistent injuries and surgeries that led him to the decision that physically he could no longer compete and so he’s opted to hang up his gloves for good.

Donovan retires with an overall 8-5 career record and you can read his full retirement statement below.

“After almost 12 years of fighting…pursuing and living my dream, I am officially announcing my retirement from professional MMA. After much thought and discussion with my coaches and wife, we decided it is time to close this chapter of my life. I love fighting and competing but my body is no longer allowing me to do so. Injury after injury, surgery after surgery, I try to come back better, faster, stronger but there comes a time when your body says, “Alright, no more.” As I’ve said in many interviews, God has a much greater plan for me than any other plan I could ever come up with for myself. I also have wisely began working on thinking and strategizing my post career planning with the support of everyone in my life. I am blessed to have embarked on this new adventure with everyone behind me.

I would like to thank my family, coaches, teammates, training partners, management, friends, and fans for the support over the years. They have given me so much and now it’s time for me to return the favor. How many people wake up every day and get to do what they love? I was one of those lucky ones! I intend to stay involved in the sport that I love by coaching, teaching, and helping teammates continue on their journeys towards achieving their dreams in the sport.

Endings are sad, beginnings are scary…but it’s the middle that counts. I embrace and welcome this chapter of my life and will work hard and strive for excellence in everything that I will do!”

Over the years I've watched the UFC develop into the powerhouse it is today, organizations like PRIDE, Strikeforce and WEC rise and fall, and Bellator emerge as a new force on the MMA landscape. Throughout it all I've remained captivated by the sport and I'm excited to cover what comes next here on MMA Insight.