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UFC fighter worried by third straight KO loss, putting MMA on 'the back burner'

UFC welterweight Bobby Nash came up short via stoppage for the third time last weekend in Shanghai, and now he’s taking a break from MMA.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Roberts vs Nash Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

A UFC fighter is taking a break after suffering his third consecutive knockout loss.

Bobby Nash (8-4), a welterweight who was stopped by newcomer Kenan Song in 15 seconds at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai, China last weekend, said in a Facebook post Sunday that his recent performances concern him, and that he plans to subsequently sit on the sidelines for a little while to reevaluate his career.

“I felt amazing going into the cage. In this game at this level anything can happen,” Nash wrote (via Twitter). “My last few fights I’ve taken some very hard shots and it has been worrying me. Fighting will be on the back burner for quite some time. I’m going to focus on my newborn baby that will be on the way soon and life back at home.”

Brain trauma is an increasingly large issue in the sport of MMA, so a break will likely benefit Nash and seems rather necessary, considering he’s been stopped three times just in 2017.

Canadian heavyweight Tim Hague died two days after a June stoppage loss in a boxing bout. Prior to the ill-fated matchup, Hague had suffered three knockout losses in a row (in various rule sets) within the calendar year. Jordan Parsons, a Bellator fighter who died at 25 years old in May 2016 in a hit-and-run accident, was the first MMA fighter to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease that develops in people who have suffered multiple head injuries.

Nash previously lost to Danny Roberts in the second round at UFC Fight Night 113 in July. In his promotional debut, “Nashty” suffered a stoppage loss to Li Jingliang at January’s UFC on FOX 23.

Nash added that outside the Octagon, he is much better than the fighter who came up short in all three of his UFC appearances.

“I’m embarrassed and hurt because I KNOW I am so much better than my last performance,” Nash wrote. “I’ve put countless hours and sacrificed so much for this sport so when I take a loss like this it really hits home and leaves me asking what is next.”

Still, Nash is trying to see the positives in the tough time.

“Like I said, I work hard and am dedicated. I am thankful for all the times I worked so hard and sacrificed so much because it will all translate into life. I was able to travel the world, compete on the biggest stage in the world and have fun doing it. I’m trying my best to have a positive outlook on this experience even though right now I am very upset. Again, thank you all for the kind words and respect. These experiences will just shape me into the man I will become.”

UFC Fight Night 122 was headlined by Kelvin Gastelum’s first-round knockout win over former middleweight champion Michael Bisping, who stepped up on short notice 21 days after losing the title to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217.