One of the earliest stars of the long running The Ultimate Fighter series has hung up the gloves.

On Thursday afternoon, longtime fan favorite Mike Swick took to his Facebook page to announce his official retirement from the sport of mixed martial arts.

July 11th 2015 at UFC 189 was officially my final fight. I was healthy and injury free for the first time in 8 years but still couldn’t put my game together. There comes a time when every fighter realizes he is older and not what he use to be and I want to acknowledge this and stay true and honest to what I have always said, that I will leave when I know I am done. It’s a hard thing to do considering everyone wants to go out on top, unfortunately when your actually on top, you never wanna go out.

It’s unfair to the UFC, the fans and to my family and friends for me to keep chasing this career while giving performances that I am not proud of.

I remember sitting in class during high school(’98) watching UFC’s with the football team during off season and telling them I will be there one day. Now at 36 years old, I have been contracted with the UFC going on 11 years and it has completely changed my life. I am very proud to have fought and been a part of this organization for so long.

Though I am retiring from fighting, I will stay a big part of this sport as I continue to build fighters and grow my dream gym AKA Thailand. This gym is a massive project that has taken us 5 years to put together and once we are done, it will be the largest and most unique fight gym in the world. I am so proud to have such a great team of people behind it and I will now give my full effort towards its progress and the business surrounding it.

I want to thank everyone out there who has helped me over the years… My family and friends, Javier Mendez/Team AKA/AKA Thailand and all the coaches and fighters that have been a part of them, the UFC, all my sponsors, and finally the wonderful fans that have made this sport so great! It is because of all of you, that I was allowed to live my dream and that I will now be able to continue living it after my fighting career.

I also want to thank the haters and negative people who have entered my life from time to time. The fire that you guys created inside me is what has maybe helped me the most in my attempts to prove you wrong and succeed through your doubts. Thanks for being that fuel when I was running low on gas. wink emoticon

Thanks for all the support and I love you all!

-Mike Swick

This announcement comes less than a week after Swick (15-6) was seen dropping rather lackluster decision to Alex Garcia at UFC 189 this past Saturday. This marked was Swick’s first appearance inside the Octagon in almost three years.

Swick, 36, first rose to prominence during the inaugural season of TUF, the season which UFC President Dana White routinely credits for saving the organization from bankruptcy. During his run in the TUF house, Swick competed as a member of the light heavyweight division, 35-pounds heavier than his natural weight class of welterweight.

While he would fall short to eventual runner-up Stephan Bonnar, the man known as ‘Quick’ garnered a tremendous fanbase for competing against fighters twice his size.

His post TUF run would include wins in nine of his first 10 UFC bouts, which includes stoppages of Joe Riggs and Ben Saunders. His run of success would culminate in a 2009 welterweight number one contenders fight against Dan Hardy at UFC 105.

The American Kickboxing Academy product would end up dropping a decision to Hardy and would compete only four time times, winning once, as injuries and a severe case of esophageal spasm kept him on the sidelines.

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.