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UFC lightweight contender Damir Ismagulov announces retirement: “I am forced to end my sports career”

UFC lightweight contender Damir Ismagulov closes the curtain on his career and announces his retirement from MMA.

On Sunday, Ismagulov revealed on Instagram that ongoing health issues had forced him to hang up the gloves. The 31-year-old didn’t give much away but thanked his followers for the support throughout his mixed martial arts career.

“Unfortunately, due to circumstances and health problems, I am forced to end my sports career,” Ismagulov captioned his Instagram post in Russian. “Thanks to all those who were with me regardless of the outcome in the battles, who were sincerely sick and worried. It was an interesting journey, a moment to remember. (Give) everyone a hug.”

Ismagulov joined the UFC in 2018. Since then, he rallied off five consecutive decision wins over Alex Gorgees, Joel Alvarez, Thiago Moises, Rafael Alves and Guram Kutateladze. In his most recent outing, in the company’s last event of 2022, Ismagulov lost a close fight to Arman Tsarukyan, marking his first competitive loss in MMA since 2015.

UFC lightweight Damir Ismagulov announces retirement from MMA

 

The Kazakhstan representative ends his career with an imposing (25-2 MMA) record. Before his UFC debut, Ismagulov endured a stretch as the M-1 Global lightweight champion with several successful title defences.

Ismagulov was working his way to a top 10 ranking in the UFC lightweight division. However, ends his career with a No. 12 ranking next to his name.

A handful of fighters on the roster shared their well wishes towards Ismagulov in the comments of his Instagram post. Among them were Muhammad Mokaev, Grant Dawson, and Albert Duraev.

What do you make of the Damir Ismagulov retirement news? Do you believe he had the potential to make it to the upper echelon of the division? Let us know in the comments!

 

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM