‘I have to end my sports career’ – UFC’s Damir Ismagulov says ‘health problems’ pushing him out of MMA

Even though he lost to Arman Tsarukyan at UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs. Strickland, Damir Ismagulov looked like a man who could easily contend for the UFC title one day. The 31-year-old former M-1 lightweight champion never finished the race, with just his two losses in 26 fights. With a balanced technical game and one of his best lightweight jabs to rely on, he looks poised to stay in the “mix” at 155lbs for years to come. I was.

It comes as a bit of a shock that the Russian-born Kazakhstani fighter appeared to announce the end of his career on Sunday, January 1, in a post on his social media accounts.

“Unfortunately due to circumstances and health problems I have to end my sports career,” Ismaglov wrote on Instagram (time MMA Fighting). “Whatever the outcome of the battle, I would like to thank everyone who was by my side, who was truly hurt and concerned. It was a memorable and interesting journey. I hugged everyone.”

Ismaglov went 5-1 in a four-year UFC stint with notable victories over Joel Alvarez, Thiago Moises and Gram Kutateradze along the way. During that stretch, his career was sidelined for 18 months between 2019 and 2021 due to a string of injuries. He made a full recovery and claimed to be in good health.

No word yet on the exact status of his recent health problems, but it’s a disappointing conclusion to a great run at the highest level of MMA.

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