In his 38th match, MMA fighter Stevie Ray squared off against Clay Collard.
Stevie Ray has announced his retirement from MMA following a loss to Clay Collard in a stoppage at the PFL 6 event in Atlanta.
At 33, the Scottish fighter bids adieu to his career after three consecutive losses, despite reaching the pinnacle of his career in 2022.
“Three consecutive losses for the first time in my career signal it’s time to step away from the ring,” he stated.
“I’m content with my career accomplishments, having bested some well-known opponents and fighting in world-renowned promotions across the globe, earning a decent income.
“Not too shabby for a lad from Kirkcaldy, Fife.”
‘That’s just the way it goes sometimes’
In order to secure a place in the knockout rounds of the Professional Fighters League’s (PFL) tournament-style season, Ray needed a stoppage victory against 30-year-old Collard, following a loss in his opening-round fight in April.
Ray, the perennial underdog, had a promising first round but lost his stamina in the second.
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Capitalising on Ray’s exhaustion, Collard delivered a brutal right-hand body shot in the second round.
The punch weakened Ray’s guard, and Collard seized the opportunity to deliver a barrage of swift hooks to the head, causing Ray to crumble.
Although a groggy Ray tried to shield himself from further blows with a leg lock attempt, the referee stopped the fight after an onslaught of unanswered punches from Collard.
“Disheartened by my performance, but that’s how it goes sometimes. I felt extremely rigid, couldn’t execute my moves, froze, and wore myself out clinging onto the back in the first round,” Ray commented.
“I’m perfectly fine, my body’s healthy, and there’s no damage. Credit to Collard, he did a great job. I lost in the second round despite winning the first.”
From retirement to the cusp of global title glory
‘If I won, I would’ve funded my daughter’s surgery’ – Stevie Ray
Ray will be remembered as one of Scotland’s finest fighters, as MMA has surged in popularity over the last 15 years in his homeland and across the UK.
Ray launched his professional career in 2010 with a local Scottish promotion, located just an hour from his childhood home.
Since his debut, Ray has competed in prominent locations around the world, including Las Vegas, New York, Dubai, London, Poland, Canada, Singapore, and Brazil, featuring in all the major global promotions, including a four-year stint in the UFC.
With a career spanning 38 fights, Ray retires with a record of 25 victories and 13 losses.
Ray initially retired in 2020 after leaving the UFC, but was persuaded to return to the ring by a proposal from the PFL.
This choice led to the most thrilling phase of Ray’s career, as he defied the odds to reach the final of the PFL’s 2022 lightweight tournament.
Consecutive victories over ex-UFC champion Anthony Pettis landed Ray a title fight against Olivier Aubin-Mercier in the November PFL lightweight world championship final.
Ray disclosed that his daughter Myla required brain surgery four weeks before the final, where the victor was set to receive $1m in prize money, after Pettis was stopped in the second round.
Myla was diagnosed with frontal lobe epilepsy in 2020, after suffering over 700 seizures in a two-month span.
In his retirement statement, Ray paid an emotional tribute to his family.
“I plan to go home and spend quality time with my family,” he stated.
“Myla is currently in the hospital on IV antibiotics, so I’m heading back there tomorrow, arriving Sunday morning.”
Ray also expressed his gratitude to his wife, Natalie Ray, saying, “A massive thank you to my wife Natalie for supporting me in chasing my dreams while she took care of our four children full time.”
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Stevie Ray Retirement
Who is Stevie Ray?
Stevie Ray is a professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter from Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. He’s had a notable career, fighting in major global promotions, including a four-year stint in the UFC.
Why has Stevie Ray decided to retire from MMA?
Stevie Ray decided to retire from MMA following a loss to Clay Collard at the PFL 6 event. This marked his third consecutive loss, prompting him to step away from fighting and transition into the next stage of his life.
What were some significant moments in Stevie Ray’s career?
Ray made his professional debut in 2010 with a local Scottish promotion. He has fought in significant locations worldwide and was part of the UFC for four years. One of his most thrilling moments was defying the odds to reach the PFL’s 2022 lightweight tournament’s final.
What personal challenges did Stevie Ray face outside of his fighting career?
One of the personal challenges Ray faced was when his daughter, Myla, was diagnosed with frontal lobe epilepsy in 2020, suffering over 700 seizures in a two-month span. Four weeks before his final PFL match, he learned that Myla needed brain surgery.
What are Stevie Ray’s plans after retirement?
Stevie Ray plans to spend quality time with his family following his retirement. His daughter Myla is currently in the hospital on IV antibiotics, and he intends to be there for her. He also acknowledged his wife, Natalie, for her support as he chased his dreams while she cared for their four children.