Aaron Riley retires following 16 year fight career
Aaron Riley, who started fighting for Jeff Osborne’s HOOKnSHOOT back in 1997, has retired following a split decision loss to Justin Salas at UFC on Fox 8 Saturday night.
He made the announcement via Twitter.
Aaron Riley @aaronrileymma
Fight my last MMA fight tonight. It’s been fun but after 16 years I’m calling it good. Thanks to everyone who ever supported my career.
Even in his earliest days, Riley already had built a reputation for being one of the toughest fighters in the sport who was willing to step up and face anybody inside the cage or ring.
After more than 20 fights in the local circuit, Riley finally got his shot at the UFC in May 2002, where he lost a hard-fought unanimous decision to Robbie Lawler at UFC 37.
Following the loss, Riley went back to competing in regional promotions before earning a chance to compete in Pride Fighting Championships in 2005, where he knocked out Michihiro Omigawa with a stunning first-round head kick.
That fight earned Riley a shot back in the Octagon, but his fight against Spencer Fisher ended after only one round. Not because Riley got knocked out or submitted, but because he suffered a broken jaw during the fight.
Riley exited the UFC once again after that loss, but returned in November 2008 and never fought for another promotion again.
Riley closed out his career with a 3-4 record in the UFC, picking up wins over notable names like former Ultimate Fighter competitor Jorge Gurgel and Shane Nelson.