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12-fight UFC veteran Felipe Arantes announces MMA retirement: 'I feel like a champion'

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After 10 years and 31 professional MMA bouts, UFC bantamweight Felipe Arantes is retiring from fighting.

Arantes (18-10-1 MMA, 5-6-1 UFC), who was knocked out by Song Yadong at this past Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 132, announced the decision on his social media on Tuesday. The loss marked a three-fight skid for the 30-year-old Brazilian, who’d been in the UFC since 2011.

On a lengthy Instagram post, Arantes said he considered himself “100 percent” accomplished in his career and explained that the decision boiled down to his will to fight not being there anymore.

“I’ve always made it clear that I don’t depend on fighting financially, because, through it, I’ve built things that allow me to have a good life,” Arantes said. “I’m grateful for being able to hang up my gloves at 30 and for knowing that, one way or another, my name will be in UFC history.”

Arantes also talked about the rough patches he’s had with injuries – including the one ahead of his most recent fight. “Sertanejo” said he injured his LCL and femur only one week before he was set to travel to Singapore for the 135-pound meeting, but moved forward despite hearing from doctors that he might not be able to.

“Do you understand that a fighter’s life isn’t easy?” Arantes said. “I’m not here making excuses, I’m here showing that I never gave up, regardless of what they told me. Isn’t that being a winner? Yes, I feel like a champion.” (via Instagram)

Sem história triste e sem mimimi. Vim fazer o meu trabalho e fiz. O resultado não veio como o esperado, mas me sinto vencedor por estar aqui e por ter passado tudo que passei, coisas que o público de fora não vê, mas quem está do meu lado sabe! A Vitória vai muito além de levantar o braço, a Vitória é construída através do caminho que vc percorreu pra chegar lá. Vc vence, se transforma e se fortalece na caminhada, e não com o resultado. Obrigado a TODOS que me acompanharam nessa jornada! Fiz muitos amigos e construí minha vida através das artes marciais. Ela me fez ser o homem que sou e me deu tudo que tenho. Até minha família construí através dela, afinal foi pelo ufc que conheci minha esposa e consequentemente tive meu maior tesouro. Em minha carreira tive 2 momentos de lesões graves, um foi a paralisia facial e outro, um acidente de moto com ligamentos e ossos quebrados. Ambos fui alertado em não poder mais voltar a lutar. DEUS me honrou e voltei! Nessa luta tive uma lesão no colateral e no fêmur, faltando 1 semana pra vir pra Singapura, mais uma vez meus médicos me alertaram sobre a possibilidade de não conseguir lutar. Mas não quis desistir e fui lutar! Entende que a vida de Atleta não é fácil? Não estou aqui dando desculpas, estou aqui mostrando que nunca desisti, independente do que me disseram. Isso não é ser vencedor? Sim, me sinto um campeão! Acredito que minha carreira foi consolidada e realizada por causa do meu treinador. Sempre me levantou, sempre me mostrou o caminho certo e sempre me deu confiança pra chegar onde cheguei. Garanto pra vcs, sem ele, eu NUNCA estaria aqui. De verdade? Me considero 100% realizado e não faria nada de diferente. Hj minha vontade de lutar não é mais a mesma, portanto decidi parar. Sempre deixei claro que não dependo da luta financeiramente, pois através dela, construí coisas que me deixam ter uma vida boa. Sou grato por poder pendurar as luvas com 30 anos e saber que de uma forma ou de outra, o meu nome ficará na história do ufc. (Continuação comentários)

A post shared by Felipe “Sertanejo” UFC (@sertanejoufc) on

Check out Arantes’ full statement below:

“No sad story and no whining. I came here to do my job and I did. The result wasn’t as expected, but I feel like a winner for being here and for having gone through everything that I have. Things that people on the outside don’t see, but those who are by my side know. Winning goes way beyond getting your arm raised. Winning is built through the path you paved to get there. You win, you transform and you strengthen yourself in the walk, not in the outcome.

Thank you to everyone who followed me along this journey. I’ve made a lot of friends and I built my life through martial arts. It made me the man that I am and it gave me everything I have. Even my family, I built through this. After all, it was through the UFC that I met my wife and, consequently, had my biggest treasure.

In my career, I had two moments of serious injury. One was facial paralysis and the other one a motorcycle accident, with broken ligaments and bones. In both, I was advised about not fighting again. God honored me and I returned.

In this fight, I had an injury in my (LCL) and femur, one week before coming to Singapore. Again, my doctors warned me about the possibility I wouldn’t be able to fight. But I didn’t want to give up and I fought.

Do you understand that a fighter’s life isn’t easy? I’m not here making excuses, I’m here showing that I never gave up, regardless of what they told me. Isn’t that being a winner? Yes, I feel like a champion.

I believe my career was solidified and accomplished because of my coach. He always picked me up, always showed me the right way and always gave me the confidence to get to where I got. I can assure you, without him I wouldn’t be here.

Honestly? I consider myself 100 percent accomplished and I wouldn’t do anything differently. Now, my will to fight isn’t the same, so I decided to stop. I’ve always made it clear that I don’t depend on fighting financially, because, through it, I’ve built things that allow me to have a good life. I’m grateful for being able to hang up my gloves at 30 and for knowing that, one way or another, my name will be in UFC history.

I could give you a thousand advices through my beautiful journey, but I’d be writing for days. I’m more of a champion than many who held that belt, I can guarantee that. New paths are being built in my life and I know that, like in he octagon, I will be a champion. I tried to represent my country the best way possible and I feel enormous peace in my heart and a feeling of mission accomplished. Once more, thank you all. You were awesome. God bless you.”

Arantes made his pro MMA debut at 20, putting together a 13-4 record before joining the UFC. He lost to fellow Brazilian Iuri Alcantara on his promotional debut, but went on to get two wins and a draw in his next three fights. Arantes moved down to bantamweight in 2015, following a decision loss to Andre Fili.

He found some early success at 135 pounds, where wins over Yves Jabouin and Jerrod Sanders spelled his first winning streak in the octagon. “Sertanejo” would go on to drop decisions to Erik Perez and Josh Emmett, before the meeting with Yadong in Singapore.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.



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