Cody Donovan has retired from professional fighting.

Donovan, 33 years old and a native of Waterloo, Iowa, confirmed his decision to step away from MMA on his own personal website recently.

A professional MMA fighter since 2008, Donovan went 8-5 in his career, including a 1-3 mark in the UFC. He won his Octagon debut over Nick Penner, but lost the next three – all via knockout – to Nikita Krylov, Gian Villante and Ovince St. Preux.

He also fought for Bellator, defeating Brian Albin via decision.

Donovan posted a lengthy message on his reasoning behind stepping away from MMA:

After almost 12 years of fighting… pursuing and living my dream, I am officially announcing my retirement from professional MMA. After much thought and discussion with my coaches and wife, we decided it is time to close this chapter of my life. I love fighting and competing but my body is no longer allowing me to do so.

Injury after injury, surgery after surgery, I try to come back better, faster, stronger but there comes a time when your body says, “Alright, no more.” As I’ve said in many interviews, God has a much greater plan for me than any other plan I could ever come up with for myself.

I also have wisely began working on thinking and strategizing my post career planning with the support of everyone in my life. I am blessed to have embarked on this new adventure with everyone behind me.

I would like to thank my family, coaches, teammates, training partners, management, friends, and fans for the support over the years. They have given me so much and now it’s time for me to return the favor.

How many people wake up every day and get to do what they love? I was one of those lucky ones! I intend to stay involved in the sport that I love by coaching, teaching, and helping teammates continue on their journeys towards achieving their dreams in the sport.

Endings are sad, beginnings are scary… but it’s the middle that counts. I embrace and welcome this chapter of my life and will work hard and strive for excellence in everything that I will do!

-Cody Donovan