Krzysztof Soszynski took to the Inside MMA show on Friday night to announce that he was officially retiring from the sport at the age of 37.
In a frank and under the circumstances very brave interview Sozynski revealed that concerns over his mental health after suffering issues with his short term memory had led him to hang up his gloves.
Soszynski last fought back at UFC 140 at the tail end of 2011 and suffered a knockout loss against Igor Pokrajac in just 35 seconds, surprising given that Soszynski was known his durability.
“It was my first time getting literally knocked out cold,” Soszynski said. “My brain didn’t wake up for probably 40 minutes until after the fight. There’s an interview (in UFC President Dana White’s video blog and I’m) having an interview, and I don’t remember any of that stuff. I just remember walking into the octagon, I remember waking up – I already had my clothes on and had a shower and all that – and I have (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva telling me everything is going to be OK and they’re ready for you to go the hospital to get your CT scan, like the UFC always does when a fighter gets knocked out.”
That in itself was a concern, though some memory loss after a knockout loss is certainly not uncommon, but in Soszynski’s case it was more serious and would prove to be the beginning of the end of his career.
According to Soszynski he took six months off to recover and then began preparing for his next fight, but he says in his first session a lightweight fighter clocked him in the jaw and he says, “my brain literally said ‘no more.”
Soszynski spoke to his family and UFC President Dana white and they all agreed he needed to call time on his career, but that wasn’t the end of the story.
The UFC flew Soszynski for a doctor’s examination which confirmed that he was having issues with memory related tests. Soszynski says he was even having trouble with basic tests like counting backwards from 20 to 0.
Needless to say this was all very worrying, and sadly despite it now being over two and a half years since his last fight he’s still suffering the same symptoms.
“It’s not getting worse, but it’s not getting any better,” he says of his current condition. “Yesterday I spoke with my wife, and today I’ll probably ask her the same questions I asked yesterday because I don’t remember the answers to those questions. It’s those little things that kind of bothered me. But the good thing is I don’t have any dizzy spells. I don’t have any long-term memory loss or anything like that. It’s just small, little things that you take for granted.”
It’s a very sad and troubling story, but it’s not all doom and gloom for Soszynski. The UFC have hooked him up with a job at one of their gyms which he says he loves, while he’s also had some success working his way into the movie business including roles in six films due for release in 2014.
Soszynski bows out of the sport with a very respectable 26-12-1 record including a 6-3 run in the UFC where he defeated the likes of Brian Stann and Stephan Bonnar.
Watch his full interview on Inside MMA below.