Brian Melancon will end his MMA career after 10 fights, including two at the sport’s highest level.
The 31-year-old Texan on Wednesday announced his retirement from the sport, citing ongoing kidney issues and a doctor’s recommendation. He was scheduled to meet Robert Whittaker next month at UFC Fight Night 33 in Australia, but earlier today that bout was scrapped and Melancon made his retirement official right afterward on his Facebook account.
“It has been announced, I am sad to say that my fight career is over. I have been having kidney problems that have gotten much worse recently and just found out that my kidney function has dropped to 47%. If I continue to train, fight, and cut weight then I run the risk of permanent damage. I have been advised by my Specialist to retire and move on and that is what I will be doing. This is not how I wanted to go out, but I have to believe that God has another path for me. Thanks to all of you who supported me throughout my career.”
Melancon started his career 6-2, with his two losses coming by decision to Adam Schindler at Bellator 20 and Isaac Vallie-Flagg at a 2011 Strikeforce event. Both fights took place in his native Texas.
After the loss to Vallie-Flagg, he picked up his first Strikeforce win, a split-decision against Felipe Porela in September 2011.
He then had a lengthy layoff, but returned to the sport in July to fight Seth Baczynski at UFC 162. As nearly a 3-to-1 underdog, Melancon pulled off the biggest upset at the card in Las Vegas when he knocked Baczynski out with just one second left in the first round for a memorable UFC debut.
He returned in short order in August at UFC Fight Night 27 to face “TUF 17? winner Kelvin Gastelum, but it wasn’t to be his night. Gastelum choked him out midway through the first frame to snap his two-fight winning streak.
He didn’t know it at the time, but it was to be his final fight. Although he booked a bout for next month in Brisbane against Whittaker, doctors ultimate recommended he not fight.
Melancon finishes his career with five stoppages in his seven victories – four knockouts and a submission. He was stopped just once in his career – the loss to Gastelum.
According to the UFC, he now will return to his full-time career as a physical therapist.