Brian Melancon‘s first year in the UFC has turned out to be his last one. The Texas-based welterweight announced his retirement today, putting an abrupt end to a 10-fight professional career. Here’s his statement (via BloodyElbow):
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.
After compiling a 6-2 record with appearances in Bellator, Legacy Fighting Championship, and Strikeforce, Melancon was called up to the big leagues earlier this year, and scored a vicious first-round knockout of Seth Baczynski in his Octagon debut at UFC 162. Less than two months later, he returned to action as an injury replacement against Kelvin Gastelum, and was quickly submitted by rear-naked choke. Melancon was scheduled to fight Robert Whittaker at UFC Fight Night 33 next month, but withdrew from the fight shortly before issuing his retirement statement.
We have no other information about Melancon’s condition, although kidney issues have long been associated with intense weight-cutting in combat sports. Luckily, the 31-year-old isn’t without career options. Melancon holds a Master of Physical Therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch, and has worked part-time as a home health physical therapist during his MMA career. We wish Brian the best of luck in his life after fighting.