UFC bantamweight fighter Nick Denis has surprisingly announced his retirement from fighting despite still only being 29 years-old.
The good news is that he’s doing so of his own free fill rather than a serious injury – though it’s the fear of just that which has lead him to make the decision to hang up his gloves.
In a blog which can be read in full over at his own Tumblr page, Denis, who quit a PhD in Bio-Chemistry to become a fighter, reveals that after researching the affects fighting had on the brain and observing his own deterioration in his ability to take punches he decided that it wasn’t worth the risk to continue competing.
“After my first loss, a devastating knockout where Marlon Sandro dribbled my head on the canvas like a basketball, I did lots of research on concussions. As a graduate student at the university of Ottawa, I had access to all peer reviewed scientific journals. No surprise to find that concussions = bad. However, I found something that had never occurred to me. Sub-concussive trauma. Basically, a blow to the head that doesn’t lead to a concussion. When it happens, you feel fine, and continue on. Maybe you feel like you just had a little brain scramble, nothing big. Those who spar, know what I am talking about. However these add up. They accumulate, from training session to training session, year after year.
“In the last couple years, and especially in the last few months leading up to my May 5th fight, while sparring I would notice that when I got hit, it would affect me more and more. When I first started sparring I would run through punches unaffected. Not only that, but now training at Tristar, I am literally training with the worlds best. We are all training at the highest level, all for the same reasons. Could I fight in the UFC, against the best fighters in our solar system, literally trained killers, without sparring in training? Not really, so what was I to do? I have made the decision to retire.”
Denis bows out of the UFC after just two fights, picking up a KO win over Joseph Sandoval before losing by submission to Roland Delorme back in May. Prior to that he had fought for promotions like ‘King Of The Cage’ and ‘Sengoku’, and retires with an overall 11-3 record.
Denis says he achieved his dream which was to fight for the UFC, and it seems like he’s a smart guy with a good education behind him so hopefully it’ll all work out well for him.