It looked like lightweight John Cholish was in position to be a divisional player for the next few years with an 8-3 record, a history of finishing foes, and his 30th birthday more than six months away. However, shortly before his UFC on FX 8 fight with Gleison Tibau, Cholish went online to reveal the rumble would be the last of his career.
Cholish, who ultimately lost the bout by way of submission, spoke to MMAJunkie after the match-up where he admitted the cost of competing was too steep for the pay involved.
“I give a lot of these guys credit that fight at this level. I think they could be compensated much better based on the income that the UFC takes in. Fortunately, I can just walk away and I’m OK with it. By no means do I mean it disrespectfully toward any other fighters because I think they do a great job. But hopefully Zuffa and the UFC will start paying them a little better,” explained Cholish who has a degree from Cornell University and works as a commodities broker.
“At the end of the day, it’s hard,” he continued. “I have great coaches that take time off and travel. They deserve money, as well. To be completely honest, on a fight like this, I’m losing money to come down here. Flights, hotel rooms, food – and that doesn’t even cover the cost of the time I have to pay for my coaches for training.”
Though Cholish’s reasoning might relate to financial compensation, that’s not to say he’s bitter about his time in the UFC or as a Mixed Martial Artist in general.
“I had a great ride fighting from little shows all the way up. I never thought I’d get to the UFC, so it’s been a really cool experience,” the 29-year old concluded. “I love mixed martial arts…Maybe one day I’ll compete again. I don’t know. We’ll see. It’s been a really cool experience, a fun ride. I have no regrets.”
Cholish’s loss to Tibau was his second straight. Prior to the slide he’d won eight straight including seven featuring some form of stoppage.