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‘I’ve definitely fell out of love with the sport’ - Ipswich MMA star Eaton reveals he’s quitting the cage

PUBLISHED: 15:56 06 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:56 06 November 2018

Ipswich MMA star Corrin Eaton celebrates one of his victories. The hugely popular fighter has revealed that he's stepping away from the sport to focus on work. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Ipswich MMA star Corrin Eaton celebrates one of his victories. The hugely popular fighter has revealed that he's stepping away from the sport to focus on work. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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Ipswich MMA talent Corrin Eaton has revealed that he’s stepping away from the cage after falling out of love with the sport.

Corrin Eaton lands a leg kick in a fight on the Contenders MMA promotion in Norwich. Picture: JERRY DAWSCorrin Eaton lands a leg kick in a fight on the Contenders MMA promotion in Norwich. Picture: JERRY DAWS

Eaton, 29, is one of the country’s top featherweight fighters, boasting a pro record of 9-3, and was due to feature prominently at the Cage Warriors 99 show in Colchester on November 17.

Coming off a fight of the year contender in defeat to Dean Trueman at Cage Warriors 92 at the O2 Arena in March, the Colchester show was set to be the pinnacle of the hugely popular Eaton’s career so far.

But he says he can simply no longer afford to fight and train full-time, and with a demanding job in the building trade to factor in, he’s been left with no choice but to step away from the sport where he always thrilled fans, win or lose.

MORE: Eaton in classic fight with Trueman at Cage Warriors 92

“Basically, I’ve had to go back to full-time work,” he said. “I haven’t really got an opponent yet and travelling backwards and forwards (to Team Titan in London) after a full day’s work to train, I just thought what’s the point?

“I thought it was best to call it now. I was going to do it after the fight anyway, after the Colchester show, but with no real opponent, medicals and work and stuff, it made sense to do it now.

“I’ve definitely fell out of love with the sport. I want to call it a day, but the more people I talk to – good friends, coaches, managers – they’re just saying not to label it as retirement yet, take a break, live your life a bit and then hopefully you fall in love with the sport again and it becomes a hobby – whereas at the moment it’s a job, and a very stressful job.”

MORE: Suffolk star Allen dreams of bringing the UFC to Ipswich

Corrin Eaton, right, has his hand raised after beating Igor Camino-Mora at Contenders. Picture: JERRY DAWSCorrin Eaton, right, has his hand raised after beating Igor Camino-Mora at Contenders. Picture: JERRY DAWS

Former Chantry student Eaton explained that, while many fans assume fighters – especially those like him who have reached the heights of Cage Warriors, Europe’s premier MMA promotion – live a life of luxury and financial freedom, that is just not the case.

“It’s not easy,” he said. “I won’t get into great detail about how much I get paid, but it’s not enough money to make a living, it’s really not.

“Most fighters want an eight-week training camp, so that’s two to three sessions a day. You can’t work full-time and do that. That’s why I need to commit to work.”

MORE: Eaton impresses with win at Contenders 17

Corrin Eaton, centre, celebrates one of his first title wins early in his fighting career. Picture: JEREMY FARINOSCorrin Eaton, centre, celebrates one of his first title wins early in his fighting career. Picture: JEREMY FARINOS

Of his career, Eaton said: “I’m definitely proud of it. I never, ever thought that it was going to go this far. I remember going into the gym and trying to relieve a bit of stress, and to be able to start earning money from it was crazy.

“At the moment, If I’m perfectly honest, I think there’s a very slim chance (of coming back), maybe 10-20%. It hurts to say, but it’s how it’s going to have to be.”

Eaton now hopes to one day open an MMA gym in Ipswich, saying that would be his legacy to the town.

“That would be the icing on the cake for me,” he said. “That would make all the hard work worthwhile, because I would never have been able to do that without my career.

“That’s the golden ticket, that is my UFC, and that would be me making it.”

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