After suffering his third straight loss in Melbourne on Sunday, Australia’s Kyle Noke has decided to hang up the gloves and retire from competition.
Noke suffered a unanimous decision loss to Russian fighter Omari Akhmedov on the main card of UFC Fight Night 101 which took place at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday and the 36-year-old wasted no time in announcing his retirement via social media.
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
Noke was playing Rugby League when in the off-season of 2002 he stepped into an MMA gym and months later made his debut where he defeated his opponent inside the first round. Noke was immediately hooked and quickly progressed through the ranks in the Australian scene. Notably, Noke split a pair of fights with George Sotiropoulos, defeated Brian Ebersole and fought to a draw against Hector Lombard in one for the ages. Unfortunately footage of that fight was never released and deemed lost many years later by the promoter.
While rising through the ranks locally. Noke befriended the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin where he served as security at his zoo. In between filming sessions, Noke and his coach Dan Higgins trained Steve Irwin in grappling and striking and traveled with the conservationist on wildlife expeditions.
Noke made is international debut in EliteXC, securing a TKO stoppage against Seth Kleinbeck before suffering his only knockout loss to Scott Smith in his next bout.
In 2010, the Dubbo born fighter earned himself a position on season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter where he was picked as the number one pick by Chuck Liddell. He would ultimately be upset by Kris McCray at the quarter final stage however did enough to earn himself a UFC contract.
While basing himself at the Jackson Wink MMA academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Noke fought 12 times for the UFC with a submission over Chris Camozzi and a TKO victory over Charlie Brenneman among the highlights. Noke was selected to coach the Australian team at The Ultimate Fighter Nations opposite Patrick Cote and at the finale Noke would lose a decision to the Canadian. A career highlight came last November when Noke won performance of the night, stopping Peter Sobotta with a front kick to the mid-section in front of over 55,000 fans in Melbourne.
It would be his last win as Noke finished his career with three straight losses to hang up the gloves with a 22-10-1 record.
— UFC Aus/New Zealand (@UFC_AUSNZ) November 27, 2016
— Coach (@CMPunk) November 27, 2016
Was a honor to share the cage with you !! Take care !! https://t.co/iNpSrmQZu2
— patrick cote (@patrick_cote) November 27, 2016
@KyleNoke – much love brother. Thank you for always being such a great teammate and friend.
— Brandon Gibson (@SixGunGibson) November 27, 2016
You are the man Kyle!! Congratulations on an incredible career my friend!! https://t.co/t8GVhrKiFL
— Court McGee (@Court_McGee) November 27, 2016
— Bec Rawlings (@RowdyBec) November 27, 2016
— Elvis Sinosic (@ElvisSinosic) November 27, 2016
@KyleNoke You are one of the most talented athletes I have ever met. It was a humbling pleasure to call you a teammate and friend.
— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) November 27, 2016
— Adrian Pang (@adrianpangmma) November 27, 2016
— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) November 27, 2016
— Ben 10 Nguyen (@Ben10MMA) November 28, 2016
@KyleNoke best of luck in the future, always a pleasure watching you get in there
— Tom Lawlor (@FilthyTomLawlor) November 27, 2016
@KyleNoke Mad respect to your legendary career as a former opponent, teammate, friend, and fan of the sport.I Wish you nothing but success
— Jonavin Webb (@jonavinwebb) November 27, 2016
— Sam Greco (@SamGreco_K1) November 27, 2016
— Brad Tavares (@BradTavares) November 27, 2016
— Anton Zafir (@AntonZafirUFC) November 27, 2016
— Damien Brown (@beatdown155) November 27, 2016
— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) November 27, 2016
Omari Akhmedov vs. Kyle Noke – UFC Fight Night Melbourne: