UFC’s Tyson Pedro retires to put more focus on family. And about those expenses …

LAS VEGAS – Tyson Pedro got his request out of the way early after UFC Fight Night 238.

“All right. Let’s do it. I’d appreciate (you) not trying to make me cry. That’d be nice,” Pedro said when he got to the podium Saturday after the co-main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Pedro (10-5 MMA, 6-5 UFC) lost a unanimous decision to Vitor Petrino (11-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), and afterward said he made the decision to hang up his gloves in order to focus more on his family.

But getting through talking about his choice to walk away without shedding a few tears might have been about as hard as anything he ever had to do in the cage.

The 32-year-old Australian made a big splash when he came to the UFC in late 2016. He submitted Khalil Rountree in his promotional debut for a $50,000 bonus in front of his home fans in Melbourne. His next time out, he knocked out Paul Craig.

And while he hit a skid after that with three losses in four fights, he seemed to have rebounded after that and had won three of four before Saturday’s loss to Petrino.

“You put in all the costs, put on the cost to my family, I probably just can’t do it anymore,” Pedro told MMA Junkie and other reporters after the loss. “With the deductions and the loss of the fight tonight, I’m probably going to have to rob someone in the car park. So if anyone’s got any money on them – who’s got the most on them?”

He was joking, of course. But Pedro said it comes down to more than just financial considerations.

In particular, going to New Zealand for his training camps means time away from his wife and daughter.

“It’s been on my mind a little bit lately,” he said. “Mainly, (I’ve) just been away from my daughter. I’ve been away probably 12 months in the last two and a half years from my wife and baby. That’s obviously my choice going over to New Zealand (to train). I know that’s where I’m going to be the best mixed martial artist.

“… It’s more a family thing, definitely. I’ve got a change of dreams, so if I’m going to do that, I might as well spend it with my daughter. Who knows – you might see me on the Australian circuit, but that’s it for me for MMA.”

Pedro learned after his own announcement that Jamie Pickett, who lost to Eryk Anders a couple hours before Pedro’s fight, also said he’s calling it quits to focus on his family.

“I try not to complain about it too much. I get to do what I love,” Pedro said. “There’s people out there that are sacrificing this much doing a sh*t job, so I’m thankful for the opportunities that I’ve got. I got to live my dream, fight in front of the biggest crowds, fight for the biggest (MMA) company in the world, so it’s all positives for me. But I want to look back, and (I’d rather be) spending that time with my daughter … ooh, that one almost got me (crying). It’s close. It’s close. It’s shining up here.”

Pedro said it’s possible he could come back – which seems to happen more with MMA retirements than it doesn’t. But more than likely, his MMA journey is over.

“Never say never, but I can’t see it in the foreseeable future,” he said.

But when asked if his family might eventually think he’s home too much and request he return to fighting, Pedro couldn’t rule it out: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s probably the highest chance out of all of it.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 238.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie