Aisling Daly has retired from mixed martial arts competition at the age of 29.
Daly, a pioneer of European women’s MMA and long-time member of SBG Ireland, made the announcement on her Instagram page where she cited her health as the main factor in making the decision.
In the post, she discussed details of an abnormality found in a recent brain scan that shows signs of a small hemorrhage that occurred a couple months ago. She said that even if she was medically cleared to compete again, it would be “unwise” for her to do so considering the potential risks.
Daly retires with a 16-6 professional record having last fought at UFC Fight Night 76 in front of her hometown Dublin crowd where she won a unanimous decision over Ericka Almeida. She began her career back in 2007 where she went on a nine-fight undefeated streak before suffering a pair of losses and moving on to submit Jessica Eye to win the NAAFS 125-lb title.
The full statement she released in regards to her retirement can be seen below:
I will be officially retiring from the sport of MMA.
This past year a routine brain scan showed up evidence of an abnormality, the remnant of a small haemorrhage that had taken place at some point in the months previous. It would be unlikely I would be medically cleared to compete again, even in the event I could find a doctor who would clear me it would be very unwise for me to continue to compete with the risks involved.
My career has ended prematurely but I’m very grateful for my long list of achievements, I am and will always be ‘Ais the first’ for so many things, my legacy set in stone in the history of Irish mixed martial arts. I am the countries first ever world champion, the first and only female to ever do it. I have and always will give back to the sport which has given me so much.
I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the fans who have supported me tirelessly through various parts of the journey. Without this support there is no sport of MMA as we know it.
I would like to thank my good friends and close team mates, there is no substitute for the genuine loyalty built between people over years of blood, sweat and tears.
I am truly most grateful for my wonderful family, who were there to pick up the pieces throughout my entire career and especially now when my dream fell apart. This would have been intolerable without their help, emotionally and financially. They say you can’t choose family but I would want no other.
Now starts the next chapter of my life. I’m very fortunate to have grown up within such an outstanding organisation as SBG. I am equipped with the skills to be an exceptional coach and member of the martial arts community and I look forward to seeing what challenges lie ahead for me. “New Beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”― Lao Tzu