Goalkeeper quits soccer to pursue MMA dream, following different football stars who switched sports activities

Goalkeeper quits soccer to pursue MMA dream, following different football stars who switched sports activities

Isaac Richards has left skilled football behind to chase a profession as an MMA fighter.ย Pace Media/Icon Sportswire through Getty Pictures

Adelaide United have announced that Isaac Richards has been released by the Australian A-League club with immediate effect to allow the goalkeeper to pursue his dream of becoming an MMA fighter.

Richards came through the youth academy at Adelaide and managed to make a handful of senior appearances as a back-up stopper. However, he has now officially called time on his football career at the age of 21 after admitting that his sporting passions lie in an entirely different arena.

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“I saw football as a great pathway to get myself out of some wrong things I was once doing in my life and it’s helped me develop as a person,” Richards told the club’s website. “I have to thank Adelaide United for giving me an opportunity to be a professional footballer and helping to steer me on the right path. I owe them a lot.

“To me, mixed martial arts has always been my own personal form of self expression. It helps me understand and deal with my emotions.

“I’m excited to be bringing myself out of my comfort zone and looking forward to dedicating my life to my true passion: mixed martial arts.”

Bruce Djite, Adelaide’s director of football, added: “It is not daily a participant walks into your workplace and says he desires to attempt to make it as an MMA fighter.

“We’re dissatisfied to be dropping Isaac as a result of we have now at all times believed in his potential and football expertise. Isaac persistently impressed us as an up-and-coming goalkeeper.

“Nevertheless, we’d by no means stand in the best way of a participant following their ardour and goals.”

Richards provides his identify to the ever-lengthening checklist of footballers who both retired or put aside their soccer livelihoods for some time with a view to attempt to check out a brand new sporting profession.

Having retired from football final yr, Cech signed on for Guildford Phoenix within the Nationwide Ice Hockey League southern division as their new back-up goalkeeper.

The previous Chelsea and Arsenal shot-stopper even saved a couple of vital penalties on his debut, placing in a man-of-the-match efficiency to earn Phoenix a slim win.

Gabriel Batistuta (polo)

After retiring from football in 2005 on the age of 36 as a result of persistent ankle ache, Batistuta started chasing his sporting kicks on horseback. Already a eager polo participant, the previous Argentina striker resumed enjoying at an elite degree and went on to raise the celebrated Copa Stella Artois in 2009.

Rafael van der Vaart (darts)

By no means one to play solely by the guide, former Actual Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Van der Vaart retired from football in 2018 after a quick, largely forgettable stint with Danish membership Esbjerg.

He then shocked all people by becoming a member of the British Darts Organisation (BDO) circuit the next yr and even profitable on his skilled debut on the Denmark Open — coincidentally being held in Esbjerg.

Whereas he hasn’t technically retired from football but, Bayern Munich winger Perisic has already solid himself a facet profession as a reasonably first rate seashore volleyball participant, even representing his nation at a global occasion in 2017.

Paolo Maldini (tennis)

Some of the adorned footballers of all-time, AC Milan legend Maldini dipped into the world of professional tennis in 2017 however suffered defeat on his aggressive ATP doubles debut — tumbling out of the Aspria Tennis Cup in straight units.

Andriy Shevchenko (golf)

Shevchenko is a eager golfer and often takes half in pro-am occasions world wide. Nevertheless, following his retirement from football, the Ballon d’Or winner tried to launch knowledgeable profession, participating within the 2013 Kharkov Superior Cup in his native Ukraine.

Sadly, his involvement got here to a untimely finish after he missed the minimize on the opening day, ending up 40 photographs adrift of the chief.

Clive Allen (American football)

Lengthy earlier than Harry Kane revealed his NFL ambition, fellow Tottenham striker Clive Allen made the leap to American football when he signed on as a kicker for the London Monarchs in 1997.

Allen stop after one season in NFL Europe after revealing he did not realise he might truly get hit on the sector.

Tim Wiese, Grant Holt (professional wrestling)

Grant Holt hit the headlines in 2018 when the previous Norwich Metropolis striker made his wrestling debut at an occasion within the UK.

Nevertheless, the path was blazed a number of years earlier by Tim Wiese, who gave up his gig tending purpose for Hoffenheim to land a proper contract with the WWE.

Andre Villas-Boas, Jerzy Dudek (motorsports)

After bowing out with Actual Madrid in 2011, Dudek fulfilled his ambition of turning into a racing driver just a few years later when he took part in the 2014 Volkswagen Castrol Cup — a championship that toured the circuits of Jap Europe.

Sticking with the motorsport theme, Villas-Boas raised just a few eyebrows in 2018 when he stop his put up as Shanghai SIPG coach to take part in that year’s Dakar endurance rally.

Sadly, the Portuguese solely lasted 4 phases earlier than a nasty crash noticed him hospitalised with a again harm.

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