Thales Leites is scheduled to fight former Bellator MMA Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard this September at UFC Fight Night Sao Paulo.
For Leites though, it is a bout that will serve as his last because the Brazilian plans on retiring at that event.
“It’s not an idea,” Leites told MMA Junkie. “It’s been decided. I will do my last fight and I will stop.”
Leites will end a professional MMA career that began in November of 2003 and will have seen him fight 37 times overall.
The soon to be retiring fighter admits that age is playing a factor in his decision to step away from the Octagon.
“I’m going to be 37, I already have a pretty big number of fights,” Leites said. “I don’t want to stay at 37, 38, 39 doing this very intense training that also has a lot of impact to the head – the famous concussion. Like it or not, every training session, you’re taking impact to the head. Not to mention the abrupt weight cuts. Doing that two to three times a year, we know it’s not healthy. It’s needed in the sport, and it’s common – of course, we do it with medical guidance, and we’re used to it. But how is the future of the athletes who started doing these weight cuts, their old age?”
UFC Fight Night Sao Paulo takes place on Saturday, September 22 from the Ibirapueroa Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil with Jimi Manuwa and an opponent to be announced headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on the Paramount Network.