“Judo” Jim Wallhead is calling it a career.
The 39-year-old UFC and Bellator veteran had tears in his eyes as he laid down his gloves in the cage and announced his retirement following a loss to Rhys McKee at Cage Warriors 153 on Saturday.
“It’s time,” Wallhead said in the cage. “It’s time to get home to my wife and kids.”
"It's time to get home to the wife and kids"— Cage Warriors (@CageWarriors) April 29, 2023
Not a dry eye in the 3Arena. THANK YOU Judo Jimmy, UK legend. pic.twitter.com/KNd9s37cnO
He actually made the announcement to Dan Hardy, who was calling the fights but also happens to be a longtime teammate and training partner of Wallhead over the years. It was an understandably emotional moment for him after spending the past 18 years as a professional fighter with bouts across several major promotions in his career.
After he originally got introduced to judo by accident when he thought he was signing up for a karate class, Wallhead became a multi-time champion in his native England before making the transition into MMA.
He fought a long list of top regional talent before making his way to Bellator in 2010. Wallhead eventually got to the UFC as well but for only two fights before he left the organization following back-to-back losses to Luan Chagas and Jessin Ayari between 2016 and 2017.
During the course of his career, Wallhead picked up a numer of impressive wins including victories over Frank Trigg, Joey Villasenor and Matt Veach.
He retires with a 33-12 record overall.