James Wilks, TUF winner and UFC veteran, retires after warnings of possible paralysis

Maggie Hendricks

"The Ultimate Fighter" season nine winner James Wilks announced his retirement from MMA after doctors advised him he could become paralyzed if he continued to fight.

Wilks had a serious knee injury that kept him out of the Octagon. His last bout was a loss to Claude Patrick in October of 2010. When that healed, a neck injury from his rugby-playing days flared up and Wilks realized how serious previous warning signs were.

"I had problems in a couple of the fights that I didn't really talk about," he said. "In one of the fights, I got hit, and the whole left side of my body went numb, all the way down to the toes."

Even with the doctors' warnings, Wilks called the decision difficult, particularly because he went out on a loss. He went 1-2 in the UFC after beating DaMarques Johnson in the TUF finale. As more fighters age, they will be faced with the issue of retirement. Kudos to Wilks for being strong enough to walk away before he was damaged permanently.

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