After a 19-year career in MMA, Raphael Assuncao has announced his retirement from professional fighting. The announcement was made today after being choked unconscious by Davey Grant on the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 221 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.
Assuncao’s fight against Grant ended in a bizarre manner, with Grant rallying to knock Assuncao down and then choking him out. After the fight, Assuncao took off his gloves and set them down in the middle of the cage to signify his retirement.
“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.”
Assuncao’s retirement comes after a long career that began in 2004 when he made his professional debut. He went on to build an impressive record of 27-10 MMA, with a 12-7 record in UFC. Assuncao started his career with nine straight victories before making his way to the UFC after the WEC merged with the promotion.
Although he lost his UFC debut to Erik Koch in 2011, Assuncao went on a seven-fight winning streak that put him in title contention. His title hopes were dashed at UFC 200 when he lost to T.J. Dillashaw, forcing him to go back to the drawing board. Assuncao bounced back with a split decision win over Aljamain Sterling and a victory over former PFL champ Marlon Moraes.
Assuncao’s career took a turn for the worse when he hit a four-fight skid, losing to Moraes, Cory Sandhagen, former champ Cody Garbrandt, and Ricky Simon. Despite this setback, he managed to get back on track with a win over Victor Henry back in October 2021.
Assuncao’s career has been a long and successful one, filled with both highs and lows. Fans of MMA will surely miss seeing him compete, but his legacy in the sport will not be forgotten.
What are your thoughts on Raphael Assuncao’s retirement from MMA after a 19-year career? Leave your comments and share your favorite memories of Assuncao’s fights in the comment section below.