Kyle Noke called an end to his fourteen-year professional MMA career after a loss to Omari Akhmedov at UFC Fight Night 101 in Melbourne this past Saturday. This was the 36-year-old’s third straight loss in the promotion.
Noke announced his decision via Twitter after the event. Here’s what he tweeted out:
Thank you to the @ufc and all the fans. It's time to hang up the gloves. Ive had a blessed life doing what I love. I Wouldn't change a thing— Kyle Noke (@KyleNoke) November 27, 2016
Growing up in New South Wales, “KO” played many sports, with rugby being his favourite, before finding his place in MMA. He fought fellow Aussie and future UFC star George Sotiropoulos in their homeland before making his United States MMA debut with erstwhile promotion EliteXC.
As a middleweight, Noke won his qualification fight to earn a spot in the UFC’s reality show The Ultimate Fighter, namely season 11, Team Liddell vs. Team Ortiz. Noke represented “The Iceman’s” team in the first fight of the show, submitting Clayton McKinney via triangle choke in the first round.
He went into his second fight against Kris McCray as the favourite but was repeatedly taken down and unable to summon any offence. He lost the fight via unanimous decision. Nonetheless, “KO” debuted in the UFC during The Ultimate Fighter finale, beating his in-house teammate Josh Bryant via second round TKO.
Noke would go on to win his next couple of fights, including a first round rear-naked choke win over Chris Camozzi, that earned him a “Submission Of The Night” bonus. After losing his next two fights, Noke would drop to welterweight and go on to defeat Charlie Brenneman.
The next few fights brought mixed fortunes, with a “Performance of the Night” bonus for a first-round TKO against Peter Sobotta at UFC 193 in Melbourne being the brightest spark.
Noke ends his MMA career with a record of 22-10-1, with a dozen of those fights in the UFC, which are evenly spread across both columns. Interestingly, Noke served as a bodyguard for three years to Australian popular wildlife TV show host “Crocodile Hunter”, Steve Irwin, training him in boxing, wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu.
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