Stevie Ray was last seen in action at UFC Fight Night Singapore in October 2019 and as it turns out, a majority decision win over Michael Johnson will be the last fight of his professional MMA career.
That is because Ray would post a video on Facebook announcing his retirement from MMA:
Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting provided the following transcript of what Ray said in the video:
“Basically I’m retiring from MMA because of my knee. There was options to maybe get an osteotomy surgery, which means cutting the bone and putting plates and stuff in, but some athletes never, ever return after that because it’s quite a big surgery. It’s around a year of rehab as well and just at this stage of my career I wasn’t wanting to go through that.
“It’s been crazy. Eleven to twelve years this has been my life. That’s it. Wake up, train everyday, and fight a few times a year. Even that didn’t work out the best either, I fought an average of two times a year. A while back when I lost to Felder, I opened up my own MMA gym, Braveheart MMA, and started coaching, and even that was a nightmare to coach and also fight. Pretty much without going into too much detail I’ve decided to retire due to health reasons. The knee, I can’t compete at the level that I fight at and still—and there’s loads of people that said to me I should maybe have just fought a few more fights for a paycheck, which sounds alright going in, but again when you’ve made a name for yourself and to go in and lose a fight just for a paycheck, to go in and possibly get knocked out because I’m not able to train, I didn’t think that would even be worth it.
“Going back, before that, for my last three fights my knee’s been pretty badly damaged. Those that train with me or are close to me know that I was having to spend a lot of days off training, icing my knee, when my opponent was probably training.
“It was f*cking with my head taking days off and not going into the fight as confident. A lot of stuff I wasn’t able to do. For example, really struggling to wrestle and throw any kicks, so I had to really adapt all of my training.
“I’ve dedicated my whole life to it and it’s hard to enjoy your life when the only thing you’re doing is putting all your time into fighting. But I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve seen loads of different countries with the UFC, I’ve fought in different places, I’ve loved MMA. It’s still gonna be a part of my whole life, obviously.”