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Brad Riddell stepping away from MMA after loss at UFC 281

City Kickboxing’s Brad Riddell needs some time to reflect.

Brad Riddell at the UFC 281 ceremonial weigh ins.
Brad Riddell at the UFC 281 ceremonial weigh ins.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Brad Riddell suffered his third loss in a row on Saturday, on the prelim card of UFC 281. At Madison Square Garden he fell by first round submission to Renato Moicano. Previous to that he was submitted by Jalin Turner and KO’d by Rafael Fiziev.

Soon after the Moicano loss Riddell posted online that he would be taking a pause on his MMA career.

“I appreciate everyone that has been supporting me and standing by my side from day one though to these last two lackluster performances,” Riddell posted. “I’m going to step away from competing in MMA for a good while until the fire to compete comes back. I’m not performing close to my capability, and it’s a dangerous job if you’re not fully present. I’ve been training hard for 15 years, in and out of camps with not enough rest or balance and it’s massively taken its physical and mental toll on me. There has not been a year since I was 17 that I have not fought.

“I know this is the right choice because, as I write this, I feel a sense of relief for finally voicing what I had been feeling for a while. I wanted to have one last crack at MSG to see if the feelings from the last camp were just one-off, but sadly they were not. It’s a hard pill to swallow, as this is what I’ve done my entire life and fighting was my first love. But sometimes you just have to face it.”

Riddell added that he also required surgery for unspecified injuries.

“I will keep training and teaching, but my energy that was all consumed by the sport will be directed at my family. The itch will come back, But a long time off is needed.”

Riddell signed with the UFC in 2019 and got off to a hot start. He won his first four Octagon contests, beating Jamie Mullarkey, Magomed Mustafaev, Alex de Silva Coelho and Drew Dober. Those wins were immediately followed by his current three fight losing streak.