UFC's Jimi Manuwa Announces Retirement After Knockout Loss to Aleksandar Rakic

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2019

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - JUNE 01:  Jimi Manuwa of England prepares to enter the Octagon prior to his light heavyweight bout against Aleksandar Rakic of Austria during the UFC Fight Night event at Ericsson Globe on June 1, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Following his knockout loss to Aleksandar Rakic at UFC Fight Night in Stockholm, Sweden, on Saturday, Jimi Manuwa announced his retirement from MMA on Tuesday.

Manuwa took to Instagram to explain his decision, citing injuries and his desire to contribute to combat sports in other ways:

"I've had a great martial arts career and the last 4 fights have been tough losses to take not only for myself but for my family who is always first. I've given out a mostly knockouts and taken a few myself, that's my fan loving style but it takes a toll on the body especially concussions which are not visible to the eye. I've met a lot of great people along the way and travelled the world but it's time to leave this chapter and on to the next one because there's a life after fighting and I feel it's my obligation to give more to combat sports, which I love dearly outside of fighting.

"Thank you @danawhite and the @ufc for letting me showcase my skills and thank you to all my coaches and training partners who have helped and taught me along the way , much love to the fans and last but not least much love to my dear family who together we made this dream a reality."

After Saturday's first-round knockout loss to Rakic, Manuwa will retire with a career professional record of 17-6, including 15 victories by way of knockout.

UFC @ufc

UNBELIEVABLE! OH MY, @RAKIC_UFC! ➡️ https://t.co/9sFxPgQC5a #UFCStockholm https://t.co/bpU0Q7lnbA

The 39-year-old Manuwa began his career 17-2 and went 6-2 over his first eight UFC fights, but he lost each of his past four fights with three of those defeats coming by knockout.

Manuwa has long been considered one of UFC's most exciting fighters due to his propensity for finishing his opponents. Over a seven-fight span from 2014-2018, Manuwa won Fight of the Night twice and Performance of the Night twice.

The light heavyweight star, who was born in California and raised in England, is following in the footsteps of the first fighter to beat him—Alexander Gustafsson.

After losing to Anthony Smith by fourth-round submission on Saturday's card, Gustafsson left his gloves in the middle of the Octagon and announced his retirement as well.

With both Gustafsson and Manuwa stepping away from competition, UFC is losing two accomplished veterans with a penchant for entertaining the fans in both victory and defeat.