Less than three weeks out from when he was scheduled to fight Robert Whittaker at UFC Fight Night 33 in Brisbane, Australia, Brian Melancon has announced that health issues have forced him to retire from fighting. The news comes not long after the UFC had reported that Melancon had withdrawn from the card, and as a result, Whittaker will compete at another event.
The 31 year-old welterweight announced the news via his official Facebook page by saying:
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.
That’s unfortunate news for Melancon and his supporters, especially since the Texas fighter made his Octagon debut this past July, and knocked out Seth Baczynski at UFC 162. More recently, at UFC Fight Night 27 in August, Melancon was tapped out by TUF 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum.
Prior to joining the UFC, Melancon went 1-1 with Strikeforce, as he scored a unanimous decision win over Felipe Portela, and lost by split decision to current UFC lightweight Isaac Vallie-Flagg.
Melancon turned pro in 2009 and proceeded to win three straight fights, before he was defeated by Adam Schindler while competing for Bellator.
UFC FN 33 will proceed with 12 bouts; in the main event Mark Hunt will battle Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.