Rafael Natal will remain involved in mixed martial arts following his retirement from active competition in the sport.
Dominance MMA CEO Ali Abdelaziz revealed Wednesday that the 17-fight UFC veteran will serve as the president of the management company’s Brazilian branch.
“I want to make a special announcement,” Abdelaziz wrote. “Welcome former UFC middleweight [Rafael Natal], he’s the president of Dominance MMA Brazil. He will run the Brazil division of management to help many Brazilian fighters and give them opportunity to fight in the [UFC].”
Added Natal on Instagram: “Very happy [in this] new phase of my life, being president of [Dominance MMA] in Brazil will be a way to give the Brazilian fighters the support they really deserve.”
Natal announced his retirement from the sport this past October following a 12-year career. Now 35 years old, “Sapo” compiled a 21-9-1 career mark that included a seven-year tenure with the UFC. Natal last appeared at UFC on Fox 25 in July, where he fell to Eryk Anders via first-round knockout – his third straight defeat in the Octagon.
“I’ve had some surgeries on my retina, on my eye. I’ve focused on [fighting] 100 percent of my life, during these 15 years,” Natal said then. “It’s time to step back. My mom’s asked this from me for a long time. It was a hard decision but it’s what we have. I think it was a smart one.”
I want to make a special announcement. Welcome former UFC middleweight @rafaelsaponatal he's the president of dominance MMA brazil. He will run the brazil division of management to help many Brazilian fighters and give them opportunity to fight in the @ufc pic.twitter.com/4NHSfj4PdD— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) January 10, 2018