Talented UFC fighter Damir Ismugulov has began the new year with a shock announcement that he is retiring from MMA at just 31-years-old.
“Unfortunately, due to circumstances and health problems, I have to end my sports career,” Ismagulov wrote on Instagram. “Thanks to all those who were by my side, regardless of the result in the battles, who sincerely hurt and worried. It was an interesting journey, a moment to remember. Hugged everyone.”
Ismagulov suffered the first loss of his UFC career in December when he lost by unanimous decision to fellow lightweight standout Arman Tsarukyan, but he had won his first five fights in a row for the promotion beforehand, beating the likes of Joel Alvarez and Thiago Moises.
Ismagulov had also enjoyed considerable success prior to joining the UFC, compiling a 19-1 record that included a a stint as M-1’s lightweight champion, where he was also their ‘Fighter Of The Year’ in 2017.
So it’s very unusual to see a fighter of his age and talent retire with an impressive overall record of 24-2, and it would be interesting to know what the exact “circumstances and health problems” were that have led him to make what surely was a gut-wrenching decision to hang up his gloves.