Richard Kiely Talks About His Sudden Retirement From MMA
“The face of BAMMA” Richard Kiely has retired.
The SBG Ireland welterweight revealed the news on his Facebook page last evening and said that his retirement would take place with immediate affect.
Kiely, who was in attendance this past weekend at BAMMA 35 in Dublin, never let on retirement was in his near future, but speaking to MMANytt.com late last evening, he revealed why he was hanging up the 4-oz. gloves.
“I’m retiring for a few reasons, but the main one being I want to focus on my future and career outside MMA,” Kiely said. “When I decided to go pro, I had a conversation with my Coach Dave Roche and we said we’d do it for a year and see how far we’d get in a year.
“In the space of a year I main evented the 3 Arena in my hometown to unbelievable support, I fought for a word title and became one of the biggest names and draws in Irish and UK MMA.”
It appears that the decision didn’t come without a lot of consideration. Kiely last competed at BAMMA 32 last Nov. when he was defeated by Alex Lohore in his first ever world title fight. The Irishman suffered a serious knee injury prior to the fight which hampered his performance in the cage, and that’s now something he knows he’s going to have to live with now he’s bowed out of the sport.
“I had been considering it for a while and the only regret I had was not being able to give a proper account of myself in the Lohore fight because of a bad knee injury,” Kiely said.
“All of the top guys were avoiding me and hiding behind my ‘inexperience’ despite the fact that I challenged for a world title and bring probably the biggest level of exposure they have experienced in their career to date.
“The real reason was because I was extremely dangerous, vary fast, difficult to catch and had explosive knockout power so they didn’t want to take the risk.”
With his MMA career not over, Kiely says he’s going to be putting all his efforts back into his education.
“I’ll go to college, study, and focus on my career outside of MMA. I have always had aspirations of returning to education so will throw the energy I brought to MMA to that.
“I’m not sure how active I’ll stay within the sport. I enjoy coaching and helping people develop their potential, so it is something I’ll consider but for now I’ll just take some time out and watch from the fan seats.”
Kiely was never short of a word or two for his fellow welterweight rivals, but he bows out of active competition now at peace with them all and wanted to extend his thanks to every one of the people who had involvement in his MMA career.
“Despite being very divisive the support I’ve gotten from my fellow fighters has been really cool,” Kiely said.
“I know I wasn’t top of everyone’s Christmas card list but I don’t think anyone can deny I didn’t bring entertainment in and outside of the cage so thanks to everyone that was part of the journey and allowed me to live the dream.
“BAMMA is faceless tonight.”
It was with great disappointment that I learned of Rich’s retirement last evening.
From day one he understood how the sport worked and how by just speaking out a little can go a long way.
There’s a real skill to using your mouth in this sport, you truly have to be yourself with your words or you get found as quickly as you do inside the cage if you don’t have the skillset.
He’s a great guy and it was joy to cover all his professional fights.
Best of luck with you new endeavours Rich.
I’m sure you will be just as successful in them as you were in your MMA career should you apply yourself in the same manner.