PFL 7 was the end of the road for two veteran fighters.
On Friday, welterweights Glaico Franca and Chris Curtis announced their retirements from MMA after failing to advance to the league finals. Franca lost a majority decision to David Michaud in the semifinals, while Curtis was knocked out of the final four by Ray Cooper III.
Curtis’s situation was unique because he actually retired twice in the span of a few hours (and for the third time in total if you count him walking away from the sport last summer). Initially, Curtis’s PFL tournament run ended in the quarter-finals of PFL 7 when he lost a decision to Magomed Magomedkerimov. Curtis left his gloves in the cage following the defeat, a traditional symbolic gesture for a fighter stepping away from competition.
However, later in the evening he called upon to fight Cooper as a replacement when Magomedkerimov was ruled out of the tournament with an injury.
After suffering a second-round KO loss to Cooper, Curtis (21-8) confirmed that he was once again done with fighting.
“They come back after I’m about to start on some chicken and waffles and they’re like, ‘Oh hey, you’re fighting in like, five minutes,’” Curtis said. “So we get wrapped up and we run out and we were warming up in the hallway, we go out there, I don’t really remember any of this. I remember touching gloves and apparently there was a first round that I don’t recall and then there was part of a second round that I also don’t recall.
“Now I’m just going to get checked out, I feel fine. Nothing’s wrong. It sucks, but if I’m gonna walk away from the sport, I’d rather walk away like that than the first fight, so hat’s off to Ray Cooper.”
Franca, who entered Friday as the league’s No. 1 seed at 170 pounds, retired immediately after the main event and also used his post-fight mic time to propose to his girlfriend. The former Ultimate Fighter: Brazil contestant and UFC fighter finishes his pro career with a record of 22-8.