From non-intimidating chess player to world champion mixed martial artist, Burnley’s Rob Sinclair feels that he made the right move in choosing to bow out of the sport.
The 37-year-old, who fought out of Predators in Manchester, performed the ceremonial discarding of his gloves in the middle of the cage at the 3Arena in Dublin to officially announce his retirement.
Irishman Paul ‘Redser’ Redmond rained on Sinclair’s parade when winning the lightweight contest by a second round submission, in the form of a knee bar, at BAMMA 30.
The former Cage Gladiators British champion, who was struggling with injury ahead of the contest, became king of the world in the 66kg to 70kg division in 2010 when beating Nathan Beer before making three successful defences against Daniel Weichel, Diego Vital and Andre Winner.
Sinclair, who was given a superb reception by the crowd at the 14,500 capacity venue, said: “That was my last fight.
“They didn’t know on the night that I would be leaving my gloves in the cage. The fire just isn’t there any more.
I’m seeing other fighters get ready and they’re really keen to get in there. It reminded me how I was five years ago but my mentality has changed now and I can’t wait to get out.
“I had the best times of my career with BAMMA. The promotion gave me opportunities, they were always good to me, treat me really well and I’m happy that I ended my career with them.
It felt right retiring on a big show with them.
“BAMMA is the best show in Europe and I was proud to be their champion. I was just a young lad from Burnley from a working class family who was able to become British champion and world champion while working full time with a family.
“I never ducked any challenges and I gave a good account of myself. I’ll look back with a lot of pride but this chapter has finally come to a close and I’m ready to move on.”
The British Gas engineer, inspired by the film ‘Kickboxer’, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, his brother, Michael, and UFC middleweight supremo Michael Bisping, added: “I was only small growing up and I was never an aggressive person.
“I was quiet at school and I’ve gone from playing chess to becoming a world champion. Nobody would have expected that. It’s funny how life takes you down these paths.
“MMA has been very cruel to me but it’s also been very kind. I wouldn’t change a day of it. I would do it all again.”
Sinclair would like to say thanks to Predators MMA, Sportesque PT in Chorley, physio Emma Fletcher, Glenn Slater Contractors, Muscle Factory, Gym Cafe and all his friends and family who have supported him throughout his career.
Rob Sinclair in action during his final fight against Paul Redmond and inset, he salutes the Dublin crowd after announcing his retirement.