Seventeen fight UFC veteran Rafael Natal has announced his retirement as a professional MMA fighter and calls it quits with a record of 21-9-1.
Natal recently appeared on The MMA Hour and that is when he made the retirement announcement.
"I came here today to announce my retirement from MMA," Natal said. "It was the toughest walk in today to your studio because it is hard to make this announcement, but I talked to my family, my friend, my coaches. That is the time. I have new focus in my career as a coach, so that’s the (right) thing to do in the moment. It’s very hard, you know? It was a long journey. I love MMA, I love training, cutting weight, but I had some surgeries before. I'm focused on that 100% in my life, doing this 15 years, so it's time to step back. My mom asked me this a long time ago, and that was a hard decision, but that’'s what we have."
During his twelve-plus year career, the now retired Natal defeated such notables as Travis Lutter, Paul Bradley, Chris Camozzi, Tom Watson, Uriah Hall and Kevin Casey.
The retired fighter cites the opening of his new school in Brazil as one of the reasons that he wanted to retire.
"Some circumstances brought me to it,” said Natal. "I just opened a huge school in Brazil now and plan to open here in New York too. I'm coming from three losses now, the last two were really bad."
In his last fight before retirement, it was Natal suffering a first round knockout loss to Eryk Anders at UFC On Fox 25.