Frankie Perez has decided to retire at 26 years old. | Josh Schaefer/Sherdog.com
It took New Jersey-based lightweight Frankie Perez only 54 seconds to score the biggest win of his MMA career. It took almost as long to announce to the world that he is walking away from the sport for good.
Sunday night, Perez entered his UFC Fight Night bout with longtime veteran Sam Stout in search of his first victory in the Octagon. After winning nine of his first 10 pro fights, Perez was called up to the UFC. He made his company debut in January, but he was stopped by Johnny Case via strikes in the third. He was determined to storm back with a vengeance, and he did.
After 30 seconds of feeling out, Perez unloaded a hellish overhand right to the jaw of Stout, dropping him instantly. Perez pounced on his woozy opponent and tore into him with a series of punches, prompting referee Herb Dean to rush in and pull him off the Canadian.
During his post-fight interview, Perez shocked viewers -- and, seemingly, some of his cornermen -- by announcing his retirement.
“I have the utmost confidence to beat anybody in this division,” Perez stated. “But, with me being 26, this was my first win in the UFC and my last. I’m done after this. I’ve brought my dreams to come true and I’m ready for the next chapter of my life. I’m done putting my family and my body through all of this.”
The announcement came as a surprise to virtually everybody, as Perez didn’t hint at retirement in the days leading up to his fight with Stout, whom he admitted was somewhat of an idol. Perez finishes his career with a 10-2 overall record, with five wins coming via submission and two by way of knockout.