(“One way or another, you *will* be able to dodge bullets like Keanu by the time this is over.”)
You may or may not be aware of this, but tucked away on the preliminary card of the upcoming UFC on FUEL 5: Struve vs. Miocic card that noone can seem to stop talking about was the long awaited UFC debut of a Swedish kickboxing legend by the name of Jorgen Kruth. A three time K-1 champion and two time World Muay Thai Council Super Heavyweight Muay Thai World Champion, Kruth scored victories over fellow kickboxing champions Ray Sefo, Vitali Akhramenko, and Bob “Bitch Tits” Sapp before transitioning to MMA in 2009. He was successful in all of his first five contests, with none of his victories making it out of the first round.
After being forced to pull out from his originally scheduled debut against Cyrille Diabate at UFC on FUEL 2 due to a rib injury, Kruth was expected to grace the octagon for the first time against Brazilian body shot specialist Fabio Maldonado at the September 29th-scheduled event. However, in what may very well be an unprecedented move for a debuting UFC fighter, Kruth has actually retired from MMA less than three weeks out from his fight. The Swede made the announcement earlier today to the Swedish newspaper Expressen (as transcribed by MMAViking, appropriately enough), stating “…the last few years I have felt that I have not been there enough for my son, it’s been tough.”
Another factor Kruth attributed to the decision was his own fleeting desire to compete at the level he knows he was once capable of.
I’ve had a wonderful career. I have become world champion in Thai boxing and competed in K1 in Japan and Thailand. But I’ve probably still got on best with competing in Sweden, the Swedish public support is the absolute best.
I’ve been thinking a long time, but now I feel that it is time. I do not have the focus or motivation anymore and the body does not respond. I’m not getting the results I want. I have not reached the level required to compete and do not feel it’s working anymore. I can not reach where I want and when I do not want to compete, I want to end up on top.
While we respect the fact that Kruth was able to come to such a tough decision before he seriously injured himself in the ring, his decision to accept a contract with the sport’s highest organization in the first place seems a little bizarre in hindsight, especially if he has been debating over the decision to retire for some time now.
In either case, we wish Kruth the best of luck now that he has been forever blacklisted by Dana White and the UFC for his influential role in the inevitable cancellation of UFC on FUEL 5.
But hey, at least Kruth will always be remembered as the fifteenth guy to make Bob Sapp’s corner throw in the towel…
As of this write up, Maldonado is without a dance partner for UFC on FUEL 5, but we’ve heard that he somehow already lost the fight 30-27 across the board despite clubbing the absolute shit out of TBA’s torso.