STANLEE Wilson has opened his heart on the decision to retire from mixed martial arts (MMA) after failing to win the BlackBeard Fight Series heavyweight title.

Wilson, 32, suffered a TKO stoppage after one minute and 30 seconds of the second round against Tadas Digrys in the main event at the Magnet Leisure Centre.

The Slough-based star suffered a torn quad muscle during the first round and will not return to training for at least three weeks, after which he will concentrate on his boxing career.

Wilson retires as a three-time British champion in K1 and is still ranked in the top-50 MMA light-heavyweights, and has thanked his family for their support.

He told the Observer: “I will be back in the gym sometime in the next three or four weeks, and will stick to boxing. I love all combat sports but boxing is my true passion.

“I will see out the year and, in 2019, decide what I’m going to do, but as far as title fights go I think I’ve lost my chance.

“I want to get some wins under by best, start enjoying it, and take the pressure off myself and my family. There support has been immense so it’s about getting back to enjoying it rather than needing it.

“I’ve had no regrets in my MMA career and achieved everything that I wanted to do.”

Looking back on the defeat on Saturday, the Slough star said: “I felt comfortable up until the fight got stopped.

“The first round was close but I had the more clean shoots and looked the more busy. I commanded the centre of the cage really well.

“Tadas was better with his legs than I thought he would be and he caught me with a shot at the end of the first round which hurt.

“I struggled in the second round because I had torn my quad in the process of him hitting me and me pulling away.

“I felt I won the first round and tried to carry on, but I was in too much pain. It was more male pride than anything else, but the fact is I had to go to work on Monday morning and that’s more important than my fight career.

“Tadas has a pretty good fight IQ to be fair. He stayed at range and didn’t let me get inside him, and when I started to limp he knew what to do.”

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