At 35-years-old, mixed martial arts veteran Javier Vazquez is retiring from the sport. Vazquez has a career that has spanned 13 years. He put his skills on display in 21 fights, but he finally feels it is time to hang up his gloves, despite having fights remaining on his UFC contract.
“I don’t see a need nor a want to fight anymore,” Vazquez said on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” show. “I feel like whether you like me or you hate me, people respect me. I do have fights left on my contract, but I just don’t want to do it. I didn’t want to be that guy that everyone is begging to retire. I did everything in my career on my terms.”
Vasquez ended his career on a high note with a win over Joe Stevenson at UFC Live 4 in the summer of 2011. He ends his career winning three of his last four bouts.
“When I got back to the locker room after the Stevenson fight, I just knew I had nothing left. I had nothing left to prove,” Vazquez said. “I knew my knee and my body had definitely had enough. I didn’t want to do it. I just didn’t want to do it anymore. The fear of stepping into the cage is just the fear I didn’t want to experience anymore.
“I felt that technically it was the best I had ever been, mentally the best I’d ever been. Physically I’d had better days, but I was making it work. I’d modified my game and made adjustments in my style so that the injuries were almost hidden. I just don’t want to fight anymore. I (wanted) to officially announce my retirement. I knew, I just didn’t know how to say it and when to say it. I had nothing left to give anymore. I had nothing physically left to give.”
It is great to see a fighter retire on his own terms and go out on a high note, instead of staying in the cage longer than he should and risking his long term health. Congrats to Javier Vazquez on an impressive career.