Women’s MMA pioneer, former UFC fighter Rosi Sexton retires

Former UFC fighter Rosi Sexton announced she'll be retiring from MMA on her blog.

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Rosi Sexton, the first British female fighter to compete in the UFC, is calling it a career.

Sexton announced her retirement on her blog this week (h/t MixedMartialArts.com) after losing a Cage Warriors bout earlier this month in her native England. The 36-year-old went 0-2 in the UFC, but was a pioneer for women’s MMA, especially in Europe. She started her career in 2002, long before female fighting was in the UFC and on the verge of the mainstream.

"This isn’t how I wanted it all to end," Sexton wrote. "The way it did will haunt me for as long as I’m around MMA, but that’s something I’ll learn to live with."

Sexton (13-5), though, was never just a mixed martial artist. She has a PhD in theoretical computer science and also has credentials as a sports therapist, osteopath and mathematician. The most important thing about her legacy is that she broke the stereotype of what an MMA fighter was, especially a female MMA fighter.

Before the UFC added a women’s bantamweight division, Sexton was already contemplating retirement despite a stellar 13-2 record. Those two losses came only to Gina Carano and former Bellator women’s champion Zoila Frausto Gurgel. In the UFC, Sexton was fighting heavier than her natural weight class and lost to Alexis Davis and Jessica Andrade.

Sexton returned to Cage Warriors in England, where she was once the 132-pound women’s champion, and fell to Joanna Jedrzejczyk by knockout in the second round.

"Needless to say, the fight didn’t go to plan," Sexton wrote. "I know I’m better than I showed that night. I believe I have more to offer as a fighter. I’m devastated that people didn’t get to see that. You’ve heard all this before."

Two weeks later, Sexton decided she has more to offer MMA outside of the cage than in it at this point.

"I don’t want to give up on being the fighter I believe I’m capable of; but there are bigger things going on," she wrote. "It’s time for me to focus on other ways of making a difference. I don’t know how this will play out, or what’s round the next corner, but it looks like it’s finally time to use that ‘R’ word."