Seth Petruzelli's pro mixed martial arts career began on August 26, 2000 in Jacksonville, about four hours from his hometown of Coral Springs. It ended in Thackerville, Okla. on Wednesday night after a stunning knockout loss to "King" Mo Lawal in the main event of Bellator 96.
Petruzelli made the announcement on Friday morning via his official Facebook page:
I want to thank my family, friends, fiance and fans for being by my side these past 13 years plus of my MMA career. Every time I fought it was to please and excite you but most of all make you proud of me.
Up until a couple years ago it pleased and excited me as well. That is where I went wrong, for the past couple years I have been fighting for the wrong reasons, I don’t have the desire or drive to fight like I used to and the past couple fights have shown it.
So at this point in my life I would like to officially announce my retirement from the sport of MMA.
Competing has been a part of my life since I was 6 years old, now I would like to put more of an effort into seeing my students/fighters do the same and making my gym grow and flourish.
MMA has taken me around the world, let me meet the best and worst of people and made me feel like the brightest star but also like a black hole at times ... and I have no regrets because I did it all my way.
The highest point of Petruzelli's fighting career, or at least the one he'll forever be known for, came on October 4, 2008. That's the night Petruzelli, stepping in on short notice for the injured Ken Shamrock, defeated Kimbo Slice in what was billed as one of the most shocking moments in MMA history. In reality, Petruzelli was a heavy favorite over Slice the moment he accepted the fight, and his win was the likely outcome.
Still, it made for good television. And it helped Petruzelli keep his name floating around the MMA world. After two more victories, Petruzelli re-signed with the UFC, but two consecutive losses to Ricardo Romero and Karlos Vemola meant another pink slip.
Petruzelli went 2-4 in his last six fights. He is currently studying to receive a psychology degree at the University of Central Florida just outside Orlando.