It’s hard to say goodbye, but Murilo Bustamante’s career is probably coming to an end in 2013.
The 47-year-old MMA veteran started his career in 1991, building a 15-8-1 record in promotions like the UFC, Pride and Pancrase. He reveals that the chances of him competing one more time are small.
"It’s complicated," Bustamante told MMAFighting.com about the possibility of fighting MMA again. "I’m pretty much retired from the rings."
"I received an offer this year, but I couldn’t accept it. I have no time to train, actually. To get ready for a fight today would be really hard. I have other projects that are more important than stepping up into a ring."
Bustamante became the UFC middleweight champion with a second-round TKO victory over Dave Menne in 2002. He vacated his belt to fight at Pride, becoming the PRIDE welterweight grand prix runner-up in 2005 after losing to Dan Henderson in the final. He stepped into the cage for the last time in 2012 against Menne at Amazon Forest Combat 2 in Manaus, Brazil, winning by decision.
It was Bustamante’s only fight since 2010, and only special bouts like that would bring him back from retirement. Today, Bustamante's focus is on training and managing the young talents of Brazilian Top Team.
"I still would like to fight someone that has a history in the sport, maybe legends like (Kazushi) Sakuraba or a former UFC champion from the early days like Frank Shamrock or Carlos Newton," he said. "I’d comeback for a classic fight like that, but that’s not the case. Getting back to train and fight someone that has no history in the sport only to make some money doesn’t motivate me."