UFC veteran, Ultimate Fighter alum, former WEC champion and current Tachi Palace Fights titleholder Gabe Ruediger is calling it quits… after just one more trip to the cage.
Ruediger has one more fight left on his schedule, to defend his Tachi Palace Fights lightweight belt on Feb. 21 in California. But following that one, Godzilla says he is exiting the cage for the final time.
“I will be fighting February 21st at the Tachi Palace to defend my lightweight belt. There is one huge difference to this fight that sets it apart from any other. It is my last one. I’ve decided to retire after this bout,” Ruediger wrote on his personal website on Tuesday.
“I’ve spent over 11 years fighting MMA professionally and its time to close that chapter of my life. Here is me saying I’m retiring and this will be my last fight.”
Ruediger began his professional career in 2002, fighting for the pre-Zuffa WEC. He spent several years fighting for the WEC, made two tours through the UFC, and was a cast member of the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter reality series.
“I started competing in MMA as a test to see if I could rise to the occasion. It was never looked at as a career,” he continued. “When I started there was no money, no fame, no recognition. It’s amazing to see how the sport has grown and I’m glad to have been a part of it in some way.
“I will continue to be involved in MMA in one way or another and will continue teaching and progressing as a martial artist, just not as a competitor.”