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UFC lightweight Yves Edwards announces retirement after 17-year MMA career

The Thugjitsu era has come to a close.

Yves Edwards, one of the most respected fighters in the UFC, is calling it quits. The 17-year MMA veteran announced his retirement Sunday night on Facebook. Edwards, 38, is winless in his last five fights and is coming off a submission loss to Akbarh Arreola at UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs. Swanson on Nov. 22.

"Fighting has been a part of my life ever since I was 17 and that makes this a hard pill to swallow but it's time for me to end this chapter and move on to the next part of my life," said Edwards, who spent most of his career in the loaded lightweight division.

Edwards' current run in the UFC began in 2010. But "Thugjitsu Master" debuted in the organization way back at UFC 33 on Sept. 28, 2001. He lost that bout by decision to Matt Serra. The Bahamas native and Texas resident has also competed for PRIDE, Bellator, WEC, Strikeforce, Elite XC and BoDog Fight among others in his decorated career.

Edwards (42-22-1, 1 NC), who trains out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla., owns victories over the likes of Josh Thomson and Jeremy Stephens. He finished 23 of his 44 career wins. His highlight-reel head kick knockout of Thomson at UFC 49 remains one of the best KOs in UFC history. He competed in 21 UFC fights.

Edwards, always one of the classiest competitors in MMA and regarded as a pioneer of the sport, will also always be known for bringing levity on weigh-in day. "Thugjitsu Master" typically brings a bag of snacks -- the latest: yogurt pretzels -- with him when he hits the scale.

The stunt has been impersonated, but never quite duplicated -- much like Edwards.

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