Bryce Mitchell is deciding against retirement after suffering the first loss of his professional career.
The UFC featherweight was submitted by Ilia Topuria at UFC 282 this past December. Immediately after the fight, Mitchell was featured on the ESPN+ series, UFC Journey, where he considered stopping with MMA and moving on with his life.
“I just know I could have done better,” said Mitchell. “I’m just in so much pain that I just don’t think it’s worth it to keep going. I want to stop with MMA and I want to take every bit of focus that I spend every single day on MMA, I want to put it into something else.”
One of his coaches said his pupil should ‘take a little time off’ to ‘regain his steam and motivation’. And as it turned out, that was all Mitchell needed. During a recent interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN, ‘Thug Nasty’ reflected on his post-fight comments, which he confessed were said in the heat of the moment.
“When you’re in that state, you got to realize you’re not completely normal,” said Mitchell. “You’re not thinking rationally. I was really mad. I was being really hard on myself.
“And I’ll be honest with you Brett, if that’s the best I could do — I swear on my life, if that’s the best I could do, I would retire because that s—t was terrible,” continued Mitchell. “I was in a lot of pain. I was tired immediately when the fight started. I mean, within the first couple minutes I was tired. And if that’s the best I could do, I’d retire. I’d be done. I’d never do that s—t again. But I know I could do better and after thinking about it and knowing how much better I could’ve done, yeah. I’ve got a different opinion on the fight.”
Despite initially considering retirement, Mitchell is ready to return to the Octagon soon. The 28-year-old wants to prove his performance against Topuria was a one-off.
“I am anxious to prove that I could do better,” said Mitchell. “I’m not going to lie to you. I’d do better right now. If we fought today, I’d do better than I did a couple weeks ago. I feel like I could do better right now and I’d love to prove it.”