James Wilks, who captured the title of Ultimate Fighter winner on season nine, has announced his retirement from MMA. Wilks went 2-2 in his UFC career, defeating Peter Sobotta and initially DaMarques Johnson to capture the TUF title. However, he hasn’t fought since October 2010 and apparently for good reason.

The British-born fighter suffered a fractured vertebra as a youth and was informed by doctors that he could face paralysis if he continued to fight and rggravated the injury.

The 34-year old was part of Michael Bisping‘s team on The Ultimate Fighter 9. He finishes his MMA career with a record of 7-4 and will now focus his time on teaching at his school in California, Lightning MMA.


MMATraining Take: Wilks seemed like he was an unlikely candidate to really take off after winning TUF because of his age and skill-set. However, it will at least be something he can look back upon and use to help fuel more fighters for his academy. It’s actually crazy to think he fought for that many years, against that many opponents, without having any serious injuries occur after the rugby one.