Veteran UFC lightweight Stevie Ray has announced his retirement from MMA due to health issues.
The Scotsman announced the news on Facebook on Monday. Ray (23-9) fought eleven times in the UFC, going 7-4 in the process. ‘Braveheart’ last fought at UFC Singapore in October 2019, winning a majority decision against fellow veteran Michael Johnson. Ray, who turned 30 this year, also picked up wins against the likes of Ross Pearson and Joe Lauzon during his time with the promotion.
In the retirement video he broadcast on Facebook, Ray said an ongoing knee injury is what forced his retirement.
“Basically I’m retiring from MMA because of my knee,” Ray said. “There was options to maybe get an osteotomy surgery, which means cutting the bone and putting plates and stuff in, but some athletes never, ever return after that because it’s quite a big surgery. It’s around a year of rehab as well and just at this stage of my career I wasn’t wanting to go through that.” (Transcription via MMA Fighting)
Ray also said in the video that he had three separate surgeries to correct problems with cartilage in his knee, and that he would be forced to miss training on a regular basis due to his injury.
“It’s been crazy. Eleven to twelve years this has been my life. That’s it. Wake up, train everyday, and fight a few times a year. Even that didn’t work out the best either as I fought an average of two times a year.”
Ray is by no means done with the sport though, as he will continue to coach at his gym Braveheart MMA in Fife, Scotland.