Raphael Assunção has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.
Following his third-round submission loss to Davey Grant on the preliminary portion of UFC Las Vegas on Saturday, the Brazilian removed his gloves and tossed them on the canvas. In his post-fight interview with UFC color commentator Daniel Cormier, Assunção confirmed this was his final fight.
“First of all, thank you God for giving me the strength up to this age,” said Assunção. “Thank you to my family for giving me 100 percent support. Thanks to the UFC, you guys calling the show. It is 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.”
Assunção had a near-perfect start to his career, amassing a record of 13-1 before signing with the now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC). At the time, the jiu-jitsu ace competed at featherweight, going 3-2 in his stint with the promotion.
After the WEC and UFC merged, Assunção debuted in the Las Vegas-based promotion at UFC 128, where he suffered a first-round TKO loss to Eric Koch. He would head to bantamweight, rattling off seven consecutive wins over notable names such as T.J. Dillashaw, Pedro Munhoz and Bryan Caraway. His win streak was snapped in a rematch with Dillashaw at UFC 200, losing a unanimous decision to his former opponent. Assunção returned to his winning ways with decisions against Aljamain Sterling, Marlon Moraes and Rob Font in three of his next four fights.
However, the 40-year-old hit a slump. Losses to Moraes, Cory Sandhagen, Cody Garbrandt and Ricky Simón followed, and Assunção hinted at retirement. Though he returned to the win column with a unanimous decision against Victory Henry at UFC Vegas 62 this past October, Assunção has decided to call it a career after this recent loss.
Assunção leaves the sport with an overall record of 28-10.
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About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)