FI­NAL ROUND

Ed­mon­ton’s Mitch Clarke re­tires af­ter painful knock­out at home

Metro Canada (Edmonton) - - Front Page - Omar Mosleh

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

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS JA­SON FRANSON

Mitch Clarke of Canada, left, and Alex White of the U.S.A. dur­ing UFC 215 in Ed­mon­ton on Satur­day.

JA­SON FRANSON/the cANA­diAN pReSS

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.

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