Five defeats in a row and severe injuries from the last match forced James Wick to end his career. The once-great UFC talent, who was in the TOP 10 lightweight challengers back in early 2019, has announced that he is retiring.
‘The Texecutioner’ was on an impressive 13-1 until the fight with Justin Gaethje (August 2018) and patiently built his way to the top, but after a tough knockout in a match with one of today’s top lightweight fighters he was never the same again.
After Gaethje, Vicka was beaten by Paul Felder, Dan Hooker, and Niko Price. After battling the latter, the UFC refuses to extend his contract, and Vick then pauses throughout 2020. He returns to the cage on January 30, 2021, and in the main fight of the XMMA event, he loses by technical knockout to the Portuguese Andrea Fialh.
After the fifth defeat in a row, and also the first fight since the breakup with the UFC, Vick reveals that he suffered severe injuries to his orbital bone and a jaw that ended up completely displaced. He also admitted that he has not felt a passion for fights for some time, so he broke down and at the age of 33 decided to end his career, during which he recorded 13 victories and six defeats.
James Vick explained his decision
"Idk where to start this. A few days ago I took the worst loss of my career. I went out on my shield like I always have like a warrior. I am very sorry to everyone who helped and believe in me so much this last year.
The truth is I haven't felt that passion/love for fighting the way I use to in a long time." "But I have always been disciplined and trained hard no matter what. One of my main reasons for still fighting was to prove to my son that you can't just give up when things get hard in life.
But this is not the way to teach him that. This is not like failing a test or losing a basketball or football game." "This is combat sports and this s*it can be permanent. One of the last punches he landed I knew something was seriously wrong.
I'm glad the ref stepped in because lord knows I would have been to tough and dumb to do that." "My orbital is broke on my right side, the fracture went all the way through to the other side causing a Bilateral break plus my jaw is completely displaced so tomorrow they are finally doing surgery to fix it.
It really was a perfectly placed shot." "The Doctor said I could definitely fight again after this if I wanted to but this was my last fight. I can't keep putting my family through this. I have reached the top of where I was going to get in Combat sports in becoming a top 10 fighter in the UFC."
"Honestly that was probably a major overachievement considering I didn't even start training until I was 20 yrs old, worked a full-time job for almost half of that, and had several major surgeries after that."
"Trying to catch these guys that have trained their entire lives has seriously been the hardest thing I have ever done. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Thank you to anyone who has been there to support me, teach me or cheer me on along the way."
"I have made life-long relationships in this martial arts journey I will always be so grateful for. It bothers me that my 3-year-old son has to see his daddy with his jaw wired shut for 4 to 6 weeks because of all this."
"He is so little and doesn't understand. Time to move on and focus more on my family and raising my son to be a great man.Thank you everyone and thank this sport for the memories