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UFC 257 fighter abruptly retires — ‘I lost about 40 percent of my vision’

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After more than a decade competing for UFC, longtime featherweight “Carny” Nik Lentz is calling it a career. And while it may seem like a rash decision considering he’s not far removed from his split-decision loss to Movsar Evloev at UFC 257 last weekend in Abu Dhabi, the 36 year-old Minnesotan wasn’t left with much choice.

“They say don’t make rash decisions after a loss, but this one is not rash or even quick for that matter,” Lentz wrote on Instagram. “The injury I suffered to my eyes last year was a career ender. In total I lost about 40% of my vision, but I wanted to see what one more hard fought battle was like with the new eyes. It was clear to me last night that it’s impossible for me to compete at this level anymore. I just can’t lock on to a moving target like I should, and with 40% of my vision practically gone... it’s chaotic to the least.”

Lentz, who kicked off his UFC career with a unanimous decision victory over Rafaello Oliveira all the way back in Sept. 2009, retires from MMA with a 30-12-2 record (1 NC) and will likely be remembered for his feud with Charles Oliveira, or perhaps his short-lived beef with former two-division champion BJ Penn.

“My life as fighter in the best organization on the planet ends here,” Lentz continued. “I am not sad or upset by it, the day comes for everyone. I stand with my head high, God as my redeemer and my children and wife as my treasure. Fighting gave those treasures and only ask for a little vision as payment. A trade I would make 100% of the time. Thank you to my fans, my coaches, my family and everyone who has been a part of this process. Who knows what comes next for The Carny.... but I can tell you what it’s not.”

Lentz exits the sport on a three-fight losing streak.