One Championship: Stephen Langdown announces retirement in heartfelt letter

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One of the young and rising stars of One Championship, Stephen Langdown of Singapore calls it quits at the age of 23.

Langdown, who’s fighting record is at 2-2, decided to call it quits as he wants to pursue other challenges outside of the MMA cage.

Here is his full statement that can be read through his blog entitled “My Curtain Call”:

I’m sitting on a beach in Bali, ice cold beer in hand, watching as the waves crash onto the beach. The amazing sun set is yet another reminder of why I am so grateful for the life I have. The life I’ve managed to live the last three years of my life. 

We’ll go back a bit. Four and a half years ago, I walked into a now defunct MMA gym, just as a 18 year old boy looking to train for fun to keep fit. Two sessions a week quickly turned into six. I was in love with the sport. What had started out as something that was “for fun” had turned into a burning desire to compete. With a lot of luck and self promotion, I got an opportunity, ONE that literally changed my life. I signed a deal with ONE Championship and had my debut fight 18th October 2013, almost exactly two years after I started training. 20 years old, walking out into a stadium of roughly 10,000 people. It is to date, the most surreal experience of my life. I remember being in the locker room warming up trying to understand the gravity of the situation I was in. My dreams, everything I wanted, were finally in my reach. All I had to do was go out there, put on a show, get my hand raised and my life would change forever. 30 minutes later, I was no longer the same person who walked into that stadium just as a boy with a dream. I won and had taken the first step into what I can only describe as a journey of memories I will cherish and remember for a life time. 

I had varying success after that, losing my second fight, winning my third and finally losing my forth. A whirlwind adventure that I feel is finally time to be put to bed. Why? For a couple of reasons. One, I don’t think there is enough money in the sport. The sport is still very young in Asia and while it’s growing incredibly fast, I’d rather not take the risk of being 28 years old, broke with a broken body. Which leads to my other reason, I don’t want to get older and have my body falling apart, stammering and bad memory. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that have been presented to me and most days I can’t believe this is the life I’ve been able to live. 

This could go on forever, but I’ll try to keep this part as short as possible.

I’d like to thank Victor Cui, Matt Hume and everyone else at ONE Championship, who’ve been nothing short of amazing to me. I’ve always been well taken care of by them and I will forever be in debt to them for helping me realise my dreams.

Ahmed and Arlene at Trifecta Martial Arts for doing more for me than I can possibly remember individually,(this might have something to do with getting punched in the face a lot. 😉 ) for building an amazing gym family that was an absolute honour to be a part of.

Ahmed, Luke and Ron from Trifecta as well, for always being there for me, punching me in the face and letting me punch you in the face. I wouldn’t have been able to gone remotely as far as I have without the 3 of you by my side. 

The coaches and students at Trifecta who make it the BEST place in Singapore to train at, I thank you all for the countless hours on the mats together and the friendships I have built. 

Gavin, my manager from Fighter Services for always being there for me and taking things off my hands so all I had to do was training and try to be the best fighter I could be.

My friends and family, who have been so supportive of what I chose to do, thank you for always standing by me, in the highs and lows of this roller coaster ride. 

My fans, who have helped me get to where I am today, no matter which part of the roller coaster you got on, I am forever grateful for your support and passion for this sport and it’s fighters.

All my sponsors, past and present, for your endless support.

Lastly, I’d like to thank all my past opponents for getting into that cage with me and doing battle with me. I respect all of you so so much and wish you the very best in your fighting career. 

With every chapter you close in your life, you start writing a new one and I look very much forward to mine. I’m going back to school, going to get into more media work and focus a lot on my Personal Training business. Some day, I hope every blog post of mine starts exactly the way as this one did. A boy can dream, right? 🙂 

If you’re looking for in-person training in Singapore, or an online trainer, please contact me and we can get to work! 

For everyone that always asks about the Villas I stay in on holiday, click this link to get $20 USD credit on Airbnb. Maybe that can be my next job, holiday planning. 😉

Thank you for reading, thanks for the memories.

Stephen Langdown. 

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