UFC lightweight competitor Cristiano Marcello announced his retirement from MMA competition on Saturday afternoon, and revealed that he will be focusing on coaching at his gym in Curitiba, Brazil.
The Brazilian, who is a jiu-jitsu blackbelt under Royler Gracie, spent the majority of his early years in the sport coaching the renowned Chute Boxe and admitted to feeling like he was never able to prioritize his own fighting career.
"I was never able to focus 100 percent in my career as a fighter, and it is the time to retire," Marcello told MMAfighting.com. "You need to know when it's time to stop. UFC is not the kind of place you can be if you're 100% focused in it. My mind was always at CM System at the same time that I had to think about my fights in the UFC. "I want to be the best coach in the world. I want to make CM System the best gym in the world."
Marcello retires with a 13-6 record in MMA competition, with fights spanning back to 1998. He fought once under the PRIDE Bushido banner, competed on the first season of TUF Brazil and fought four times in the UFC, finishing with a 1-3 record in the octagon.
Considering he always saw himself as a part-time fighter, Marcello is proud of his achievements in MMA and is looking forward to cementing his legacy with his fight team at CM System.
"I'm going to be honest with you, I was always a coach before I was a fighter since the old days. I always wanted to help the Chute Boxe fighters be who they are, make them world champions at PRIDE, and my career as a fighter was always in second place.
My athletes first, and I was able to do 19 fights at the biggest promotions around the world, but now it's time to focus on my legacy with CM System."