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Ranked UFC vet Damir Ismagulov appears to announce retirement

UFC Fight Night: Tsarukyan v Ismagulov Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Damir Ismagulov, the No. 15 ranked lightweight in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings, appeared to announce his retirement on Sunday.

In an Instagram post, Ismagulov cited health problems among the reasons for his decision to end his sports career, according to a Google translation of his message. The 31-year-old Russian fighter’s reps were not aware of Ismagulov’s message beforehand and were trying to confirm the news when contacted by MMA Fighting.

Ismagulov’s announcement arrives less than one month after he suffered the first loss of his UFC career, a unanimous decision setback against Arman Tsarukyan at UFC Vegas 66. Prior to that, he won five straight in the octagon and had climbed into the top-15, sitting at No. 12 in the promotion’s rankings. Along with his UFC wins, his winning streak was 19 straight fights before his setback in December.

“Unfortunately, due to circumstances and health problems, I have to end my sports career,” Ismagulov wrote on Instagram (via Google translate). “Thanks to all those who were by my side, regardless of the result in the battles, who sincerely hurt and worried. It was an interesting journey, a moment to remember. Hugged everyone.”

Ismagulov’s professional MMA record stands at 24-2. He won titles under the Alash and M-1 banner and signed with the UFC in 2018. He counts a win over division standout Thiago Moises among his notable octagon performances.

MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin contributed to this report.

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