Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
Damir Ismagulov still plans to retire, but wants to finish what he started in the UFC.
Following his UFC Vegas 66 loss to Arman Tsarukyan in December, Ismagulov announced his retirement on social media — which left the MMA community quite surprised. On Sunday, Ismagulov revealed that he has one more fight left on his current UFC contract and has made the decision to fight it out.
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A post shared by Дамир “Qazaq” Исмагулов (@ismagulov_damir)
“Recently, [my manager] informed me that I have one more fight left under my contract with UFC,” Ismagulov said. “There were many offers from other leagues where fees were way higher and you could go in there and make money, but I came to UFC, not for the money but for the legacy, to prove to myself that I can compete against the strongest fighters! I finished my career, but after finding out I had another fight under my contract, I decided to go back and finish it! We accept to repay our debts!”
The loss to Tsarukyan was Ismagulov’s first in the UFC, and his first loss overall in over seven years as a pro. The 31-year-old isn’t calling for title shots or anything that would completely hold up the loaded lightweight division, but for one more shot at Tsarukyan inside the octagon.
“In the ultimate fight I lost to [Tsarukyan] who is one of the strongest lightweight fighters in UFC,” Ismagulov stated. “I would have let go of this moment if I knew I did everything I could and still lost.
“Let’s hold the last battle with fireworks”