That's a wrap.
Canadian bantamweight Nick Denis burst onto the scene in his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut, destroying Joseph Sandoval with standing elbows in just 22 seconds. He followed that fight up with his most recent performance, a disheartening loss to Roland Delorme at UFC on FOX 3, losing the fight with only a second left in the first round.
Now, it seems the former Ph.D. student in biochemistry has decided to hang 'em up for good, but for an unusual fear, at least for a fighter with as short and successful a career as his. Denis announced through his personal blog that he's made his decision due to a fear of brain damage.
"The Ninja of Love" elaborates:
"In the last couple years, and especially in the last few months leading up to my May 5th fight, while sparring I would notice that when I got hit, it would affect me more and more. When I first started sparring I would run through punches unaffected. Not only that, but now training at Tristar, I am literally training with the worlds best. We are all training at the highest level, all for the same reasons. Could I fight in the UFC, against the best fighters in our solar system, literally trained killers, without sparring in training? Not really, so what was I to do? I have made the decision to retire."
In addition to the above quote, Denis explained his research on concussions, as well as sub-concussive trauma.
Of course, neither is something he wanted to absorb, and he explained the harsh damage that sub-concussive trauma can have on a person. He made a promise to himself that he'd retire from MMA after his next concussion, but he decided to quit while he was ahead and avoid the risks of sparring as well.
For a relatively young fighter with such promise, it is disappointing to not see him continue his MMA career.
However, he's taken a respectable route, one that other older fighters may be well advised to consider for themselves. Denis probably has a bright future ahead of him, and he has now accomplished one of his biggest life goals.
Find out more about head trauma in MMA and other major sports here.