MMA fighting

Former Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme wins his first MMA fight after retiring from football following battle with cancer

FORMER Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme picked up the win on his Raw Grappling Championship debut.

Ikeme was forced to retire from football in 2018 aged just 32 after a year-long battle with cancer.


Former Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme won his first grappling fightCredit: RAW Grappling Championship/Youtube
The 36-year-old beats fellow Briton Fuad Ahmed


The 36-year-old beats fellow Briton Fuad AhmedCredit: RAW Grappling Championship/Youtube
Ikeme played over 200 games for Wolves before retiring in 2018


Ikeme played over 200 games for Wolves before retiring in 2018Credit: PA:Empics Sport

But now, four years later, the 36-year-old is back in sport competition – albeit something very different from the Beautiful Game.

Ikeme fought fellow Briton Fuad Ahmed in the inaugural World Raw Grappling Championship at the Indigo O2 Arena in London.

The action was streamed on the promotion’s YouTube page.

This is loosely based on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Ikeme using his skills on ground fighting and submissions.

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Lenglet to Tottenham in the stages

The former keeper won the fight 4-0.

Ikeme has made 274 career domestic appearances in all competitions, including more than 200 for Wolves, the club he joined in 2000 aged 14.

The stopper won two promotions and ten international caps for Nigeria.

On the decision to retire from football, Ikeme said at the time: “While talking to the doctor, he said I should retire, just because the treatment and the effect it is having on my body .


“I can’t really risk trying to come back, I just want to be here for my kids, my family and my friends.

“It’s hard when you think back to the things you’ve been through in your football career but in the grand scheme of things with your life in danger, it’s the minimum price to pay to have a life with my family.”

Ikeme is now registered with the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation and fights in the super heavyweight category.