UFC veteran Norman Parke is just weeks away from competing on one of the biggest MMA shows in the history of the sport, but has today announced that it will be his last fight.
The Northern Irishman has taken to Twitter to announce that his KSW lightweight championship fight against Mateusz Gamrot will be the last chance for fans to catch “Stormin” Norman in action, even if he wins the title.
My fight in Poland is my last ever fight, so it's finish or be finished, @KSW_MMA can keep the belt. Gamrot be prepared for a tough fight.
— STORMIN NORMAN PARKE (@norman_parke) May 9, 2017
This news seemingly comes out of the blue as Parke (23-5-1) is on a two-fight winning streak after his UFC release in 2016. Even prior to that, The Ultimate Fighter: Smashes winner wasn’t in a particularly rough patch, surprisingly getting cut from the UFC with a respectable 5-3 record.
The 30-year-old from Bushmills has stayed busy in his post-UFC career, winning fights under the ACB and BAMMA banner, before earning himself a title shot on KSW’s upcoming KSW 39: Colosseum card. The card itself is rather monumental, with 50,000 tickets being sold for the event, which is taking place inside the PGE Narodowy Stadium in Warsaw, home to the Polish national football team.
thanks a lot to all fans.KSW the Best in Europe. can you help to beat the next record? now all in your hands! pic.twitter.com/s9X5LTgiHJ
— martin lewandowski (@martinksw) April 27, 2017
The card itself features Polish MMA all-stars such as Mamed Khalidov, Mariusz Pudzianowski and Tomasz Narkun. In what appears to be his last fight, Parke takes on Poland’s top ranked lightweight, in the unbeaten Mateusz Gamrot (12-0). The Poznan-based fighter has previously beaten UK veterans Andre Winner and Tim Newman, and will be looking to make a second defence of his title.
Retirement seems like a strange decision for Parke to make, considering that he is still seemingly at the top of his game. Nonetheless, potentially taking out one of the top lightweight fighters in Europe would be one hell of a way to bow out of the sport.