Frankie Perez produced the biggest win of his career last night at UFC Fight Night 74 and then caught everyone by surprise by getting on the mic and announcing his retirement from the sport at the age of 26.
Perez took just 54 seconds to stop UFC veteran Sam Stout via strikes to earn his first win inside the Octagon, but it seems he’d already made up his mind that he was going to hang up his gloves.
“I have the utmost confidence to beat anybody in this division,” Perez stated in his post-fight interview. “But, with me being 26, this was my first win in the UFC and my last. I’m done after this. I’ve brought my dreams to come true and I’m ready for the next chapter of my life. I’m done putting my family and my body through all of this.”
Many people voiced their support of Perez’s decision in the aftermath of the announcement, though the always outspoken Michael Bisping, who was serving as an analyst on FOX Sports 1 for the event, had a different opinion on the fighters decision.
“I am glad,” Bisping stated after hearing Perez’s shock announcement. “And no offense to Frankie Perez, because I don’t know the guy… But if he retired after knocking someone out on his 2nd UFC win, I would say he hasn’t got the cojones to really be in this sport.”
“It’s a tough sport,” he continued. “He said he is sick of what it does to his body. He’s sick of feeling like this. Well guess what, this sport isn’t designed for everybody, and if you don’t enjoy it, yeah, step away! Step away and let the real men do it.”
Perez learned of Bisping’s comments backstage, but he quickly shrugged them off.
“Bisping’s a clown, so it ain’t no big deal; words don’t get to me,” Perez said. “You know what it is? I’m just choosing my family over this sport. I love this sport and love everything about it. But it was just time. That’s it. I’m still going to be around, cornering guys. That’s it.”
Perez also explained that he has successful business interests back home which may go some way to explaining why he’s got the confidence to turn his back on the fight game, at least from a competitive standpoint.
“I have businesses back home; I don’t live paycheck to paycheck like some of these fighters do,” Perez told the assembled media. “I have a very supportive family at home and I have a couple businesses that are successful at home.
“Who knows? I’m going to travel the world and live my life the way I want to live my life. That’s it. Nothing can stop me from being happy. I’m happy where I’m at now and I’m just ready for the next chapter. I’m ready for new things in life.”