Brian Melancon will not be back in the Octagon again. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Welterweight talent Brian Melancon has retired from mixed martial arts at the age of 31 and will not compete at UFC Fight Night 33 as initially expected.
Melancon on Wednesday announced his decision via Facebook, and UFC officials confirmed the news shortly thereafter.
“I am sad to say that my fight career is over,” Melancon wrote. “I have been having kidney problems that have gotten much worse recently, and [I] 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.”
As a result of Melancon’s retirement, his Dec. 7 clash with Robert Whittaker has been scrapped. Whittaker will instead compete at a later event against a different opponent.
UFC Fight Night 33 is headlined by a heavyweight confrontation between former title challenger Antonio Silva and Pride Fighting Championships veteran Mark Hunt. The event airs live on Fox Sports 1 and will go down at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia.
Melancon, 31, made a successful Octagon debut this past July, when he upset the favored Seth Baczynski via first-round knockout at UFC 162. The Texan was defeated in his sophomore promotional appearance, however, as “TUF 17” winner Kelvin Gastelum submitted him in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 27 showdown. Prior to joining the UFC, Melancon began his pro career with six victories in eight appearances, notably dropping a hard-fought split decision to Isaac Vallie-Flagg to kick off the Strikeforce “Overeem vs. Werdum” undercard back in 2011. Whittaker introduced himself to UFC fans as a cast member on “TUF: The Smashes,” winning the reality show’s welterweight tournament nearly one year ago and following that triumph with a May 25 technical knockout of “TUF 16” winner Colton Smith. Like Melancon, the Aussie was handed his first Octagon defeat on Aug. 28, when Court McGee outpointed “The Reaper” in a split verdict at UFC Fight Night 27.