He made the announcement on his official website, but has been saying in 2012 that New Year's Day was the date he planned to retire. He added that he plans to remain active in MMA in other ways, as well as continue his professional wrestling career in 2013 before retiring there too.
His last fight was a win, his 101st, after a two fight losing streak. He wanted fights with three legends from the early UFC days to close things out, but that never happened. He said: "The No. 1 goal that I set for myself in 2012 was to be finished with my mixed martial arts competition career. I was attempting to do my own self-directed retirement tour in the last couple of years reaching out to only three people – Mark Coleman, Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie. ... It seems as though these matches will not take place for whatever reasons, and my life now goes on to the next chapter."
He lost to Gracie during an open-weight eight-man tournament at UFC 4 and lost by submission almost sixteen minutes into the fight. He lost to Shamrock at UFC 6 and then beat him at UFC 9. He lost to Coleman by submission for the heavyweight title at UFC 12. He plans to continue in MMA with commentary, appearances and instruction.
He added: "It has been difficult to juggle so many different parts of my career. Father Time is telling me it is time to let go."
At one point in his career, Seven went through 1997-2000 with a record of 21-0-3 before being submitted by Josh Barnett at a SuperBrawl show in Hawaii. He fought 13 times for the UFC with a record of 9-4. He won the UFC 5 tournament, the UFC Ultimate Ultimate 95 tournament and the superfight championship. He also has an amateur wrestling background after a career at Arizona State University. He was an Olympic alternate in 1980, 1984 and 1988.