UFC featherweight contender Bryce Mitchell explained why he considered retirement following the first loss of his career.
Mitchell lost to Ilia Topuria via submission at UFC 282 last month. Topuria used his vastly improved grappling to stifle Mitchell’s advances and eventually get the finish.
Mitchell, as he revealed after UFC 282, dealt with a bad case of the flu entering fight night. Despite his illness, he opted to take the fight anyway at a small percentage of what he feels he’s capable of in the Octagon.
Mitchell not only took his first-career loss hard but also hinted at quitting fighting altogether. He hinted at retirement backstage not long after getting finished by Topuria.
Bryce Mitchell “Wasn’t Thinking Rationally” In Post-UFC 282 Comments
During a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Mitchell explained his emotions following the loss at UFC 282.
“I couldn’t even stand up on my own. I wasn’t saying the most intelligent stuff,” Mitchell said. “When you’re in that state, you gotta realize you’re not completely normal. You’re not thinking rational. I was really mad, I was being really hard on myself. If that’s the best I could do, I swear on my life that I would retire. That shit was terrible. I was tired immediately when the fight started, I mean within the first couple of minutes. If that’s the best I could do, I’d retire. But I know I can do better and after thinking about it and knowing how much better I could’ve done, I got a different opinion about the fight.”
Mitchell entered UFC 282 unbeaten in his professional career, with recent victories over Edson Barboza and Andre Fili. He had been searching for a fight for months after defeating Barboza at UFC 272.
Many fighters, including Mitchell, take their first-career defeat especially hard. A lot of them, however, have bounced back in a big way after the pressure of being undefeated subsides.
At 28 years old, Mitchell appears to just be getting started in his professional career. He’ll likely take some time off before an eventual Octagon return, but seems motivated to use his loss as a learning experience.
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