Edmonton’s Mitch Clarke retires after painful knockout at home
Mitch ‘Danger Zone’ Clarke, 31, was feeling confident at UFC 215 after handily winning the first round of his lightweight match against Alex White, but he knew things had taken a turn for the worse when his vision started to go blurry.
“In the second round, we collided heads and it cracked my orbital bone. I couldn’t see out of my left eye and it went downhill from there,” the Edmonton fighter told Metro the day after the match.
“But I wasn’t going to give up. I kept fighting for I think another couple minutes … I was defending myself but not intelligently defending myself, which is part of the criteria for continuing.”
Clarke ultimately lost to Missouri’s Alex White by TKO in the second round at UFC 215, which took place in Edmonton on Saturday.
With an 11-5 record, Clarke announced after the match that he was hanging up his gloves for good.
“It’s unfortunate but I respect the decision … This is my adopted hometown and I was glad to have my last fight here,” Clarke said.
Originally from Saskatoon, he has lived in Edmonton for about 10 years and has been fighting professionally for the same period of time.
His fighting included a mix of wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, Mui Thai and mixed martial arts.
Some of the highlights of his career are being ranked the former #1 Canadian lightweight and receiving UFC Submission of the Year runner up, when he defeated Al Iaquinta in UFC 173.
Part of the reason he wants to move on is to dedicate more time to his family.
“I love the sport … (but) I don’t get paid enough to be able to sustain myself for my family. And I need to stop being so damn selfish,” Clarke said.
He also acknowledges that the six-week training camps in New Mexico can be gruelling.
“As you get older it’s harder and harder to pull yourself away … It’s a personal battle on the inside,” he said.
The fighter is currently studying at the University of Alberta pursuing a bachelor of education and hopes to become an educator or physiotherapist. But he’s not done on the mat just yet — he’s hoping to secure a spot with the University of Alberta Golden Bears wrestling team.
“I want to thank the crowd and the sport and the people who helped me along the way. I just believe that it’s time for me to move on.”
I just believe that it’s time for me to move on. Mitch clarke
Mitch Clarke of Canada, left, and Alex White of the U.S.A. during UFC 215 in Edmonton on Saturday.
Mitch Clarke of Edmonton, right, is punched by Alex White of the USA during their mixed martial arts bout at UFC 215 in Edmonton on Saturday.