Rafael Natal is Latest UFC Veteran to Announce Retirement
By FCF Staff
Rafael Natal has announced that he’s hanging up the gloves at the age of 34.
The middleweight fighter, who is coming off a knockout loss to Eryk Anders in July, announced the news on “The MMA Hour” (quote via MMA Fighting):
“I came here today to announce my retirement from MMA,” Natal said. “It was the toughest walk in today to your studio because it is hard to make this announcement, but I talked to my family, my friend, my coaches. That is the time. I have new focus in my career as a coach, so that’s the (right) thing to do in the moment.
“It’s very hard, you know? It was a long journey,” added Natal, who also reportedly relayed that an eye injury played a role in his decision. “I love MMA, I love training, cutting weight, but I had some surgeries before. I’m focused on that 100% in my life, doing this 15 years, so it’s time to step back. My mom asked me this a long time ago, and that was a hard decision, but that’’s what we have.”
The loss to Anders was Natal’s third in a row. Prior to those defeats, however, “Sapo” had won four straight. The Brazilian fighter retires having gone 21-9-1 in pro-MMA.