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UFC fighter retires from MMA after brain scan shows abnormality

Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's Strawweight contender Aisling Daly has retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) at the age of 29. Daly made the unexpected announcement via Instagram, revealing that an abnormality due to a previous small hemorrhage she suffered was discovered during a recent brain scan has forced her to end her career sooner than she would’ve liked.

Her post:

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 #TheQueenofIrishMMA #AisTheFirst #SBG #happy #proud #grateful #MMA #UFC #retirement #worldchampion #blackbelt #legend

A photo posted by Aisling Daly (@aisydaly) on

Daly has been competing in MMA professionally since 2007, fighting in various organizations such as Cage Rage and Cage Warriors before landing a spot on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 20: "Team Pettis vs Team Melendez." Daly -- who trains alongside Conor McGregor at Straight blast Gym (SBG) -- made her official UFC debut in 2014, defeating Alex Chambers via submission at TUF 20 Finale. She ends her Octagon career with a 2-1 mark, 16-6 overall throughout her career.

The Irishwoman isn’t the first fighter to raise concerns about combat sports-related brain injuries as Jon Fitch recently revealed that his fighting future was up in the air because of similar concerns, too. Furthermore, UFC Welterweight standout Carlos Condit is also putting his face punching career on hold for the same fears.

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