Brett Okamoto, ESPN Staff WriterJan 31, 2024, 04:08 PM ET
CloseMMA columnist for ESPN.com
Analyst for “MMA Live”
Covered MMA for Las Vegas Sun
Mark Madsen, a pioneer in Danish combat sports, has retired from mixed martial arts.
Madsen, 39, announced his retirement via social media on Wednesday. He leaves the sport with a professional mark of 12-2, including a 4-2 run in the UFC.
A three-time Olympic wrestler for Denmark, Madsen made a late transition into MMA. He won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first Danish wrestler to medal at the games since 1948. He likely would have qualified for the Olympics again in 2020, but elected to move to MMA instead.
He signed with the UFC in 2019, with less than two years of professional experience. He picked up wins in his first four Octagon appearances, including a victory over UFC veteran Clay Guida, before running into back-to-back stoppage losses against Grant Dawson and Jared Gordon.
Madsen is considered one of the faces of Danish MMA, along with Martin Kampmann, who cornered him in his UFC debut.