Welterweight fighter Brian Melancon on Wednesday announced his retirement.
The 31-year-old had been slated to face Robert Whittaker at UFC Fight Night 33 on Dec. 7 in Brisbane, Australia, but after having to withdraw from the fight due to issues with his kidneys, Melancon has decided to quit fighting.
“I am sad to say that my fight career is over,” Melancon posted on Facebook Wednesday. “I have been having kidney problems that have gotten much worse recently and just found out that my kidney function has dropped to 47 percent.
“If I continue to train, fight, and cut weight, then I run the risk of permanent damage. I have been advised by my specialist to retire and move on and that is what I will be doing. This is not how I wanted to go out, but I have to believe that God has another path for me. Thanks to all of you who supported me throughout my career.”
Melancon began fighting professionally in January 2009. He wracked up a 5-1 record in his first two years, earning a shot under the Strikeforce banner. Melancon split his bouts under the Strikeforce banner, winning one and losing one.
Melancon had been out of action for nearly two years when the UFC came calling. He made an immediate impression, knocking out Seth Baczynski at UFC 162 in July, but then lost his follow-up fight to Kelvin Gastelum in August.
The kidney problems, however, now force Melancon to cut his career short. He goes out with a 7-3 professional record, and plans to return to his full-time job as a physical therapist.
His UFC Fight Night 33 opponent, Robert Whittaker, will be moved to a future event with a new opponent.