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Former Foe Jorge Rivera Sympathetic to Nate Quarry's Career Uncertainty

While some MMA fans may have been surprised and dismayed to hear that UFC veteran Nate Quarry is considering retirement, one man who isn't so shocked is Jorge Rivera, who handed Quarry his most recent loss at a UFC Fight Night event back in March.

"I understand. I get it," Rivera told MMA Fighting on Tuesday. "You know, you can only go so long. I'm sure he has plans with his life, and you only want to take so many beatings. You only want to suffer so much, because there's life after fighting, man. Hopefully there's a good, long life after fighting."

Quarry, who required facial reconstructive surgery to put thirteen screws and a titanium mesh in his cheek after a particularly brutal TKO loss to Rivera, told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that he wasn't completely certain he'd ever fight again.

"We'll see where my career takes me," Quarry said after explaining that he's been through several surgeries in recent years. "I've been fighting for 12 years, training for 14. So 12 years, that's a lot."

Rivera, who is only a few weeks older than the 38-year-old Quarry, said he understood his former foe's inner conflict completely.

"I would retire myself if I had to have facial reconstruction," Rivera said. "And if my heart wasn't in it, then what's the point of continuing to fight? You can make an income doing something else."

Confronting the prospect of retirement is an unpleasant but inevitable moment for every fighter, Rivera said. As for himself, he said he has a very simple way of determining when it's time to hang up the gloves.

"I've got three kids. I've got a son and two little girls. If I can't enjoy time with them, if my body's too beat up, if I'm not making enough money at it, if it all doesn't add up anymore, I'm done. That's when I've got to do something else for my family so I can give them what they need and provide for them. But they need me to be there for them. That's what's most important."

Quarry, who said he knew there was significant damage to his nose and his orbital bone after the first round with Rivera, stopped short of saying he would never fight again, though he did admit that he was enjoying some time off and the feeling of "waking up in the morning knowing that I don't necessarily have to get punched today."

If Quarry does opt not to return, Rivera said he'll take no enjoyment from being the fighter to knock him into retirement. But in the end, that's the possibility that all fighters face every time they step in the cage.

"You never know what's going to happen in your next fight," said Rivera. "You could go and get hurt and end up calling it a career. You just have to roll hard and go forward, do your thing until it's time to stop."

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