UFC veteran Kyle Noke retires from MMA competition; social media reaction

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.

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.


Omari Akhmedov vs. Kyle Noke – UFC Fight Night Melbourne:

Started Martial Arts training after watching Mr Miyagi and Daniel-son in Karate Kid back in 1987. By the time MMA arrived many years later, I was hooked. Coverage of local MMA was via scarce posts on forums like the Underground and Sherdog. I embarked on covering the sport in 2002 and since then have written thousands of articles for both print and online media, before branching out and starting Fight News Australia in 2010. Outside the site, I dream of riding in an F1 car.