James Vick is hanging up his gloves.
Vick, a former UFC lightweight and cast member of “The Ultimate Fighter 15,” announced his retirement from MMA, putting an end to a 10-year career. Vick (13-6) broke the news on his Instagram on Tuesday night, days after taking a loss in his first fight since his departure from the UFC in late 2019.
Vick, 33, suffered a TKO loss to Andre Fialho at XMMA 1 in Florida on Jan. 30. It was his fifth consecutive stoppage defeat.
In a lengthy statement, Vick cited losing passion for the sport as a reason he’s decided to retire. He also said he suffered a broken orbital bone and jaw in his defeat, and doesn’t want to continue risking his health and stressing his family. Vick specifically mentioned wanting to teach his son the right lesson.
“One of my main reasons for still fighting was to prove to my son that you can’t just give up when things get hard in life,” Vick said. “But this is not the way to teach him that. This is not like failing a test or losing a basketball or football game. This is combat sports and this (expletive) can be permanent.”
Below is Vick’s full statement <a href=”
“Idk where to start this. Few days ago I took the worst loss of my career. I went out on my shield like I always have like a warrior. I am very sorry to everyone who helped and believe in me so much this last year. The truth is I haven’t felt that passion/love for fighting the way I use to in a long time. But I have always been disciplined and trained hard no matter what. One of my main reasons for still fighting was to prove to my son that you can’t just give up when things get hard in life. But this is not the way to teach him that. This is not like failing a test or losing a basketball or football game. This is combat sports and this shit can be permanent. One of the last punches he landed i knew something was seriously wrong. I’m glad the ref stepped in because lord knows I would have been to tough and dumb to do that. My orbital is broke on my right side, the fracture went all the way through to the other side causing a Bi lateral break plus my jaw is completely displaced so tomorrow they are finally doing surgery to fix it. It really was a perfectly placed shot. The Doctor said i could definitely fight again after this if I wanted to but this was my last fight. I can’t keep putting my family through this. I have reached the top of where I was going to get in Combat sports in becoming a top 10 fighter in the UFC. Honestly that was probably a major over achievement considering I didn’t even start training until I was 20 yrs old, worked a full-time job for almost half of that and had several major surgeries after that. Trying to catch these guys that have trained their entire lives has seriously been the hardest thing I have ever done. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Thank you to anyone who has been there to support me, teach me or cheer me on along the way. I have made life long relationships in this martial arts journey I will always be so grateful for. It bothers me that my 3 year old son has to see his daddy with his jaw wired shut for 4 to 6 weeks because of all this. He is so little and doesn’t understand. Time to move on and focus more on my family and raising my son to be a great man.Thank you everyone and thank this sport for the memories.”
Vick began fighting in 2011. He won his first four bouts before participating on TUF 15 and then signing with the UFC.
Vick had a 5-0 start with the UFC, but then lost to Beneil Dariush by knockout. Vick was able to bounce back from that defeat and build a four-fight winning streak before this recent losing skid, which marked the end of his run in MMA.
In his six years with the UFC, the Team Lloyd Irvin fighter picked up nine wins, defeating notable names such as Francisco Trinaldo, Jake Matthews, and Joseph Duffy. Vick was also able to break into the UFC’s official top-10 rankings at lightweight.