Quinn Mulhern recently announced his retirement from MMA via his Facebook account.
The 29-year-old Jackson's MMA product lost a unanimous decision to Katsunori Kikuno at UFC Fight Night 34: Saffiedine vs. Lim, and the defeat caused Mulhern to reflect on his career path and to opt out of the fighting life (screenshot via Facebook):
While the post appears overly self-critical, reflecting a rash, heat-of-the-moment decision, Mulhern has clearly thought the decision through and come to a conclusion that will best benefit himself moving forward.
At 18-4, Mulhern has found great success inside the cage throughout his career, but he faltered twice under the sport's most prestigious banner.
First, he lost to Rick Story via first-round TKO at UFC 158, and his second defeat, this time to Kikuno at UFC Fight Night 34, sealed his fate as a mixed martial artist. Realizing that he simply could not compete at the highest level inside the Octagon, Mulhern made the decision to call it quits, capping a respectable career as a fighter.
While fighters announcing their retirement before the age of 30 is not the norm, Mulhern joins names such as Cole Konrad and Nick Denis on the short list of combatants who called it quits before damaging their bodies and minds beyond repair.
As more research emerges regarding brain injury in the sport, we may see more and more fighters—like Mulhern—realize that the trauma and the struggle is simply not for them anymore.
For now, Mulhern's career lasts as one marked by considerable success, but it is ultimately lessened by the fact that he could never piece it all together inside the Octagon.