Thursday, December 1, 2022

Brad Riddell Makes Major Career Decision After UFC 281 Loss

Formerly ranked UFC lightweight Brad Riddell has made a major decision about his MMA career following his latest setback.

This past weekend, Riddell was one of four City Kickboxing representatives looking to bring success for the team at UFC 281. But rather than having his hand raised like Carlos Ulberg and Dan Hooker did, “Quake” suffered a similar fate as Israel Adesanya did in the main event later in the night.

In the featured prelim, Riddell shared the Octagon with Renato Moicano. While he’d hoped to return to winning ways and force his way back into the lightweight top 15, the New Zealander fell to a first-round submission defeat for the second consecutive fight.

With the result, Riddell has now lost three straight, having previously won all four of his Octagon outings and earned a place in the rankings.

While a knockout loss to rising contender Rafael Fiziev in an entertaining striking battle didn’t mark a significant blemish on his résumé, subsequent quick tap-out setbacks against Jalin Turner and Moicano have sent him on a disappointing skid.

Many have also suggested that the elite kickboxer has looked out of sorts in his past two outings, even on the feet, which is certainly usually his wheelhouse. And with his recently released post-fight statement, some light has been shed on why that might have been.

Riddell Decides To Step Away From The Octagon

Days out from his third consecutive defeat inside the Octagon, Riddell took to social media to address his recent skid and disappointing form.

In a lengthy Instagram post, “Quake” announced his decision to take an indefinite break from MMA competition having lost the itch to make the walk. While he didn’t provide a timeline for a potential return, he did note that it’s dependant on his “fire” coming back.

“I appreciate everyone that has been supporting me and standing by my side from day one (through) to these last 2 lacklustre performances,” Riddell wrote. “I’m going to step away from competing in MMA for a good while until the fire to compete comes back. I’m not performing close to my capability, and it’s a dangerous job if you’re not fully present.

“I’ve been training hard for 15 years, in and out of camps with not enough rest or balance and it’s massively taken it’s physical and mental toll on me. There has not been a year since I was 17 that I have not fought,” Riddell continued. “I know this is the right choice because, as I write this, I feel a sense of relief for finally voicing what I had been feeling for a while.”

Riddell went on to explain that he’s been considering this call ever since his defeat to Turner, noting that UFC 281 marked an attempt to rebound before making the tough decision. The New Zealand native added that he has some injuries to deal with and family time to make up for.

“I wanted to have one last crack at MSG to see if the feelings from the last camp were just one-off, but sadly they were not,” Riddell said. “It’s a hard pill to swallow, as this is what I’ve done my entire life and fighting was my first love. But sometimes you just have to face it… There are a few over due surgeries to be addressed as well… I will keep training and teaching, but my energy that was all consumed by the sport will be directed at my family. The itch will come back. But a long time off is needed… I appreciate everyone always supporting me. Quake.”

Do you think Brad Riddell has made the correct decision to step away?