'My passion is no longer what it was' - Cathal Pendred announces UFC retirement
Irish fighter Cathal Pendred has announced his UFC retirement and looks set to pursue his business interests after revealing he has lost some of his passion for the sport.
Pendred suffered a brutal first round TKO loss at the hands of Tom Breese at UFC Fight Night 76 in Dublin last month and after his second successive loss admitted that he would take a break from the sport until after the New Year.
After nine years as a mixed martial artist, the 28-year-old admitted he has lost some of the competitive levels required in the demanding sport after losing his final two fights as a professional.
"I now find that my passion is no longer what it was and I feel that it is time for me to move on," he said. "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.
“I would like to thank all my coaches and team mates for their friendship and support. Thank you to everyone who has followed and supported me on this journey. Indeed thanks to everyone that I met through MMA from start to finish. This chapter of my life wouldn't have been the same without you.
One of the "other interests" he mentioned is likely to include Irish salad bar company Chopped.
The Boston-born Drumcondra native revealed recently that he is to become a franchisee of the fresh food company that was founded three years ago and is eagerly looking forward to the new challenge.
“From the start, it’s something I’ve wanted to do, a place where you can get healthy food, because it’s something I believe in. When you believe in something yourself, it’s easier to push it and sell it,” he told The Sunday Business Post.
Pendred, who is currently dating model and Buck’s celebrity club hostess Michele McGrath, enjoyed a victorious UFC debut in July 2014 in front of a rapturous home crowd. The former Belvedere College student enjoyed four successive victories before a split-decision defeat to John Howard halted his momentum, followed by last month's disappointing loss to Breese in the 3Arena.
Ireland's best known UFC fighter after Conor McGregor has vowed to support his fellow Irish fighters in retirement.
"My participation in competing in MMA has come to an end, but my love for the sport has not. I will maintain my interest in the sport and continue to support my team mates as they follow their dreams."