Damir Ismagulov still plans to retire, but wants to finish what he started in the UFC.
Following his UFC Vegas 66 loss to Arman Tsarukyan in December, Ismagulov announced his retirement on social media — which left the MMA community quite surprised. Ismagulov announced on Sunday that he still has one fight under his UFC contract. He has decided to fight the fight.
“Recently [my manager] informed I that I still have one fight under my UFC contract,” Ismagulov stated. There were many other leagues that had higher fees and could make more money. But I chose UFC because of the legacy and the chance to show my skills against some of the best fighters. I finished my career, but after finding out I had another fight under my contract, I decided to go back and finish it! We agree to repay our debts !”
The loss to Tsarukyan was Ismagulov’s first in the UFC, and his first loss overall in over seven years as a pro. The 31-year-old isn’t calling for title shots or anything that would completely hold up the loaded lightweight division, but for one more shot at Tsarukyan inside the octagon.
” In the final fight I lost against [Tsarukyan], who is one the most powerful lightweight fighters UFC has to offer,” Ismagulov said. If I had known that I tried everything and lost, I would not have allowed myself to lose this moment.
“Let’s hold the last battle with fireworks”