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UFC heavyweight Soa Palelei to retire from mixed martial arts

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A popular UFC heavyweight is calling it quits.

Soa Palelei, who gained notoriety for his charisma and philanthropy over the last two years, announced his retirement from mixed martial arts Monday, according to a statement he released via Twitter. He was not cut by the UFC, his manager Audie Attar told MMA Fighting, despite reports.

I want to take an opportunity to officially announce my retirement from the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Thank you to the UFC, Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Joe Silva for giving me a second chance to fight for the organization. I’ve had a great time, but feel it’s time to focus on my family and other career interests. After several months of thought and discussion with my family and my team, we realize our future includes many things in MMA, but active competition in the sport is no longer one of them. This isn’t goodbye, as I will still be very much involved in the sport but just not as a fighter. I want to help further MMA around the world and give my contribution to the sport. I know that I have, and will continue to contribute much to the growth of ….View original article