UFC veteran Raphael Assuncao has announced his retirement at the age of 40 immediately after a stunning submission loss to Davey Grant at UFC Fight Night 221 last night.
Assuncao had appeared to be winning the fight in the early rounds and seemed to be in pole position in the third as his opponent was deducted a point due to repeated fence grabs. However, in the final 30 seconds Grant suddenly unleashed a spinning backfist that landed flush, and then when Assuncao tried to retaliate by going for a takedown, Grant left everyone stunned by managing to lock up a rare inverted triangle submission that rendered the veteran unconscious.
It was a tough loss for Assuncao, his fifth in his last six fights, and afterwards he laid his gloves down in the center of the Octagon and then confirmed in his post-fight interview that he was retiring.
“Thank you God for giving me the strength up to this age,” Assuncao said in the cage. “Thank you to my family for giving me 100 percent support. Thanks to the UFC and you guys calling these shows. It’s such a tough career. I was able to do this for 19 years as a professional, but I think my time has come now. I put a lot of effort into this training camp away from my family, and I think that’s it for me.”
Assuncao bows out of the sport holding a 28-10 career record, with his biggest wins in the UFC coming against the likes of Aljamain Sterling, TJ Dillashaw, and Marlon Moraes, while early in his career he also beat stars like Jorge Masvidal and Joe Lauzon on the regional circuit.