Brad Riddell Is Taking Time Away From MMA After Feelings Of Not Being “Fully Present” In Fights

Brad Riddell is taking a long break from fighting following his loss at UFC 281 in Madison Square Garden.

Brad Riddell
Credit Brad Riddell on Instagram

UFC lightweight Brad Riddell is taking a break from MMA. 

There were some very impressive finishes on the UFC 281 fight card Saturday night. Unfortunately for City Kickboxing’s Brad Riddell, he was on the receiving end of one. Riddell lost his bout against Renato Moicano by first-round submission. Now with the fight just days removed, he is reassessing his career and is ready to take a hiatus. 

Riddell came into the UFC back in October 2019. He immediately began making a statement in the division and beat the likes of Drew Dober and Magomed Mustafaev in his four-fight winning streak. Since then he has not fared as well. Riddell has now lost three in a row and is ready to put MMA in his rearview mirror, at least for the time being.

Brad Riddell wants to take a break from MMA to let his fire and love for the sport rekindle

“I appreciate everyone that has been supporting me and standing by my side from day one though to these last 2 lacklustre performances. I’m going to step away from competing in MMA for a good while until the fire to compete comes back. I’m not performing close to my capability, and it’s a dangerous job if you’re not fully present,” he wrote on Instagram. “I’ve been training hard for 15 years, in and out of camps with not enough rest or balance and it’s massively taken it’s physical and mental toll on me. There has not been a year since I was 17 that I have not fought. I know this is the right choice because, as I write this.”

Riddell trains at the well-known City Kickboxing gym in New Zealand among other UFC fighters such as Israel Adesanya and Dan Hooker. In the lead-up to this camp the owner of the gym, Eugene Bareman, mentioned that he had to take a harsh approach with his fighters and put an end to some complacency among the veteran guys. All four fighters from City Kickboxing that fought in the UFC 281 card were very vocal about their preparedness.

“I feel a sense of relief for finally voicing what I had been feeling for a while. I wanted to have one last crack at MSG to see if the feelings from the last camp were just one-off, but sadly they were not,” he wrote. “It’s a hard pill to swallow, as this is what I’ve done my entire life and fighting was my first love. But sometimes you just have to face it. There are a few overdue surgeries to be addressed as well. I will keep training and teaching, but my energy that was all consumed by the sport will be directed at my family. The itch will come back, But a long time off is needed.”

Riddell has not retired from the sport and had mentioned a return is possible down the road. 

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