Burnley brawler Sinclair calls time on his career

Rob Sinclair
Rob Sinclair

Burnley brawler Rob Sinclair has declared that he won’t give in to temptation and his decision to retire is final.

The 36-year-old culminated a decade-long association in mixed martial arts with a dubious defeat to Charlie Leary under the Full Contact Contender banner in Manchester last month.

I’m always going to be chasing the dream but there isn’t really one anymore

Rob Sinclair

“My decision is still final,” he said. “I just don’t really want it as much as I used to. I shouldn’t have really gone in to that fight anyway because I was badly injured in the build up to it. I was at the physio three days in a row and then all I could do was rest.

“I like to keep going all the way through, keep fresh and stay sharp but I couldn’t do anything. It is what it is though. He was keen and he wanted to win but I don’t think I lost that fight. We’ve watched it back and I was more active and productive than him.”

But that doesn’t define the colourful career of “C4”, not by any stretch of the imagination. Sinclair has invested so much in to the sport that he loves; far more than the proverbial blood, sweat and tears that many athletes allude to.

And the explosive fighter has come through it all as a winner both in and out of the cage.

After becoming Cage Gladiators British champion in the embryonic stages of his tenure, and defending his prized BAMMA lightweight world title against Andre Winner live on Channel 5, Sinclair was forced in to committing everything towards succeeding in his own personal battle.

In 2013, on the cusp of living out his American dream, where he was scheduled to make his Bellator bow against UFC veteran Rich Clementi, the Englishman’s progression was put on ice as he tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

The prognosis from doctors and surgeons wasn’t good, the injury was apparently debilitating, but Sinclair battled adversity to bounce back against the odds. It was a recovery that inspired the short film “Healing Scars”.

“There is the temptation to continue but then what?,” questioned Sinclair. “I’m always going to be chasing the dream but there isn’t really one anymore.

“I’ve woken up from it. What more can I reach at 36? I’ve been British and World champion and I’ve built up a good reputation in the sport. I’m not bothered for the UFC or Bellator. I don’t want to tarnish the career that I’ve had by carrying on half-hearted.”

He added: “There has been quite a few highlights. Number one has got to be going to America after the doctor told me that I wouldn’t compete again.

“Then there’s fighting at Wembley as the main event live on Channel 5, the first time the Bamma banner had ever been broadcast on terrestrial television. I’ve defended my belt a number of times and I was Burnley’s first World and British champion.

“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. Something that tops all that though is the support that I’ve had in my 10 years of fighting. I never thought it would turn out this way but I want to thank everyone who has ever helped me.

“There are too many names to mention, but especially those from my home town. The sport has been ridiculous and I’m overwhelmed by it all.”

Sinclair’s catalogue of wins includes the names of Will Burke, Ben Jagger, Richie Downes, Matt Sellars, Tim Radcliffe, Aidan Marron, Alexandre Izidro, Nathan Beer, Daniel Weichel, Martin Begley, Diego Vital, Winner and, last but not least, Michael Brightmon.

Sinclair admits that it’s hard to turn his back on something that he’s grown incredibly fond of but he’s accepted that it’s time for the next chapter in his life.

“There has got to be an end at some point and I’ve made my peace with that,” he said. “There’s a start and an end to everything and now it’s time to move on and enjoy the next chapter in my life. I want to spend some time with my family.

“I’ve given it my all. I’ve lost four fights on record but I’ve never really been beaten properly. That’s a statement that I like to stand by. It suits me.

“I’ve made a film and I’ve fought through negativity to succeed. I’ve pushed through everything so I’m pretty happy with how my career has gone. I wouldn’t change anything.

“I’m helping some up and coming lads now, including Schoib Yousef who has just won his pro debut, and we’ve got some good guys who are eager to compete.

“I want to aim to get my black belt in jiu-jitsu too. I’m just going to take each day as it comes now and do my best to enjoy life.”