MMA gave me purpose to train again – Ikeme


Former Wolves and Nigeria goalkeeper Carl Ikeme says moving into mixed martial arts gave him a “purpose” to train again after being forced to retire from football when he was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2017.

“A part of my recovery was to get back in the gym,” he told Caroline Barker on BBC’s Sportshour.

“I’d lost three stone at one point. I was extremely unhealthy coming out of cancer treatment. I think what the arts and especially Brazilian jiu-jitsu gave me was a purpose to train again.”

Ikeme made 207 appearances for Wolves across 15 years at the club but says he has only recently been able to enjoy watching football again.

“I’ve come to terms with life after football,” he added when asked how he was now after completing his treatment.

“I’ve started to enjoy football a little bit more. When I first come out I wasn’t really interested in watching it too much but I’ve been to quite a few Wolves games this season. It’s good.”

“I love family life, obviously doing all the arts, working.

“I’m always trying to strive for balance and never quite get it right but that’s my new life now really. Just enjoying football as a fan.”