Shane Roller never wanted to be just another fighter.
The former WEC and UFC lightweight set out to be something better than just a run of the mill fighter who bounced in and out of the Octagon on his way to the middle.
A three-time All-American at Oklahoma State in wrestling, Roller started fighting because he loved the fire of competition, but following his fourth loss in the UFC last week at UFC on FX 5, he was released from his contract with the promotion and that’s when he decided it was time to make a big decision.
“The number one reason was the UFC called and said they were going to be cutting me. I decided if that ever happened I was going to move on, and I kind of made that decision from when I started fighting I didn’t want to just be another fighter. I wanted to take a run at it, and try to get the belt, but I didn’t want to be just a mediocre fighter,” Roller told MMAWeekly.com after announcing his retirement on Monday.
“I want to spend more time with my family, training and competing at that level you’ve got to give up a lot of things. I gave it a run, it didn’t work out, didn’t end the way I wanted it to, but I think it’s time to move on into the next chapter of my life.”
The love of competition is what got Roller involved with MMA in the first place because after years away from the wrestling mats, he missed it terribly. So Roller got back in the gym, started training and after only four professional fights he got the call to compete in the WEC.
There he would go on to have a 6-2 record overall while picking up wins over fighters like former WEC champion Jamie Varner and Danny Castillo. The love of competing is something that’s embedded deep inside Shane Roller, and he readily admits that will be the hardest thing to give up after fighting is over.
“A little bit of mixed emotions, I’ll miss competing, I always love competing no matter what I do. It doesn’t matter if me and my brothers are just playing cards or whatever. I love competition, and that aspect of it is going to be tough,” said Roller.
“That’s probably the hardest thing. I didn’t realize how much I’d miss it when I got done with wrestling. I was out of wrestling for about 4 years when I started fighting, when I was out of it I realized how much I missed it so that’s why I started fighting. I’m sure it will be tough again but I’ve got a 7-year old boy, a 5-year old girl, and another nine-month old girl, I’ll have plenty to keep myself busy now.”
Now that Roller has officially announced his retirement, he’s moving onto the next stage of his life. He’s going to be opening a wrestling camp in his home state of Oklahoma, while also helping his father who runs youth wrestling tournaments in the state as well.
Roller also has plenty of friends who still compete in MMA, so he won’t be completely away from the sport, he just won’t be the one inside the cage from now on.
“It’s definitely a decision I’ve made,” Roller stated.
“I don’t want to keep coming back, and keep trying to fight. I think it’s time to move onto the next chapter, I gave it a run, I gave it my all. No regrets, I wish it would have ended a little different, but the last 4 or 5 years I’ve enjoyed it.”
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