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Seth Petruzelli announces retirement from MMA following KO loss to Mo Lawal at Bellator 96

Photo by Bellator

Following his first-round knockout loss to Muhammed Lawal at Bellator 96 on Wednesday, Seth Petruzelli announced his retirement from professional mixed martial arts competition. Petruzelli made the news official with a statement on Facebook.

"I want to thank my family, friends, fiancé and fans for being by my side these past 13 years plus of my MMA career," he wrote. "Every time I fought it was to please and excite you but most of all make you proud of me. Up until a couple years ago it pleased and excited me as well. That is where I went wrong, for the past couple years I have been fighting for the wrong reasons, I don't have the desire or drive to fight like I used to and the past couple fights have shown it.

"So at this point in my life I would like to officially announce my retirement from the sport of MMA. Competing has been a part of my life since I was 6 years old, now I would like to put more of an effort into seeing my students/fighters do the same and making my gym grow and flourish. MMA has taken me around the world, let me meet the best and worst of people and made me feel like the brightest star but also like a black hole at times. ..and I have no regrets because I did it all my way."

Petruzelli, 33, ends his MMA career with a record of 14-8. He competed three times in professional kickboxing, twice in 2004 and once in 2012, losing all three by TKO.

'The Silverback' was a contestant on the second season of 'The Ultimate Fighter', ultimately losing to Brad Imes in the show's semifinals. He fought Matt Hamill on UFC Fight Night 6.5 in October of 2006, losing by unanimous decision in a Fight of the Nigh the performance.

He briefly returned to the UFC in 2007, losing to Wilson Gouveia by second-round guillotine choke at UFC Fight Night 9.

The Floridian was brought back to the UFC one last time in 2010, but lost two consecutive fights: a submission loss to Ricardo Romero at UFC 116 and TKO-stoppage loss to Karlos Vemola at UFC 122.

Petruzelli, however, is best known for what he achieved between his stints in the UFC. At EliteXC: Heat in 2008, Petruzelli was scheduled to face Aaron Rosa on the undercard of the CBS-broadcast bout. The card was set to be headlined by a heavyweight contest between Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock. Yet just hours prior to the bout, Shamrock suffered a cut over his eye that wouldn't allow him to compete. Looking to salvage the event, the promoters pulled Petruzelli from the preliminary card to face Slice on short notice.

In one of the most memorable moments in modern MMA history, Petruzelli knocked Slice out just 14 seconds into the first round.

He ends his career with Bellator, having competed three times for the organization starting with a TKO-win over former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez in at Bellator 49 in 2011. He lost to Jacob Noe at Bellator 85 in January of 2013 by first-round TKO. Bellator 96 marked his third time inside the circled cage.

Petruzelli wasn't the only fighter on the Bellator 96 card who announced his retirement in close proximity to the event. UFC and Strikeforce veteran Renato 'Babalu' Sobral also officially ended his professional MMA career, although he announced its ending just moments after his third-round stoppage loss to Jacob Noe.

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