After 13 years, 21 fights and a wealth of memorable experience, Javier Vazquez is officially calling it a career at age 35. Vasquez made the announcement on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” show on Sunday evening. The decision comes with bouts still remaining on Vazquez’s current UFC deal.
“I don’t see a need nor a want to fight anymore,” Vazquez said. “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.”
“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. 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.”
“In the middle of a fight you don’t really realize what the consequences will be 10 years later – or 20 or 30. The only thing I was thinking was, you have a UFC contract at home. You have to get through this fight. Sometimes I just think I should have stopped. Where would my career have been if I had quit after the first round and had a full rehab and eventually rematched [Crane] and beat him, just kind of saved myself?”
“My knee never really felt the same after that second surgery. I just didn’t really understand the extent of the damage at the time."
“I am building my future. I knew what I wanted to do post-fighting. I’ve been planning and preparing myself for this moment the last five or six years. I’m developing my curriculum and developing my academy. It’s a tremendous project. I probably have somewhere around six hundred pages written. I started writing last October. I’m just done with the first draft of the curriculum.”
“Mentally I have a lot to give. All my experience, all my knowledge, all my technique—I’m very passionate about passing on my knowledge. I’d like to work with some of the women in MMA because I feel that some of the technique is lacking. I want to work with people I feel I’m gonna have a huge impact on technically."
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