Peter Sobotta first came to the UFC all the way back in 2009. His first stint with the promotion would last only a year and a half and three fights, all losses. However, the Polish-born athlete, fighting out of Germany hit the regional scene running after getting cut, and rattled off five straight victories—alongside a controversial draw. Four years later, he made his UFC return on the undercard of UFC Fight Night: Munoz vs. Mousasi in Berlin.
Sobotta’s second run with the UFC was much more successful, going 4-3 over six years, including wins over Nicolas Dalby and Ben Saunders. Unforuntaley for him, it’s also been marred by ongoing injury problems; it was more than two years between his loss to Leon Edwards and the final bout of his career last Saturday night.
Following a tepid performance against welterweight action staple Alex Oliveira in Abu Dhabi, at UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till, Sobotta announced his retirement from MMA. As well as explaining his decision to hang up his gloves, the 33-year-old revealed that Oliveira broke his arm early in the bout, likely the result of a blocked body kick (which commentary astutely pointed out at the time).
“Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to win tonight,” Sobotta wrote in a post on Instagram (via automatic translation). “I’m also not particularly well. I broke my right arm early in the fight, my face had to be sewn in four places. I’m not looking for excuses. I was the worse fighter tonight. Not ready to grit your teeth and go forward. Too little pressure, too little courage, too few hits. I could not play my greatest strength because several takedown attempts failed. Oliveira deservedly won. I have to recognize that my path as an active MMA fighter ends after 17 years. I felt that in the ring today. I really love this sport with all my heart and this decision hurts more than any broken bones and ligaments.
“But I just don’t have the toughness, robustness and willingness to take risks to fight at the top. It was a damn wild ride and I am infinitely grateful for the emotions and experiences that I was able to experience. Thanks to EVERYONE who accompanied and supported me”
Sobotta will leave MMA with a pro record of 17-7-1 over his sixteen+ years fighting in MMA. Outside of his work inside the cage, he’s also the CEO of German MMA camp ‘Planet Eater MMA,’ as well as the president of regional MMA Promotion NOVA Fights. The gym has been the longtime home of UFC middleweight Krzysztof Jotko.