After an unsuccessful attempt in the Season 7 lightweight tournament, Rich Clementi (45-22-1) decided to end his 13 year career. Now retired, Clementi still struggles with the idea of not actively competing.
“It kills me,” said Clementi to MMA Fighting. “This is the person that I am. I truly love fighting. I’ve always been that way and always will be. I’m just a huge fan of the sport but it doesn’t make sense for me to go on when I can utilize my platform for so much more.”
Compared to his debut in 1999, Clementi has seen a change in the fighters and maybe not for the best. Nowadays, Clementi doesn’t understand when someone declines a fight because of short notice.
“Back in the day, they called you to fight and you did it because that’s what you do,” said Clementi. “That’s why you’re doing this sport. I just feel like now, it’s just over-exploited and some of it’s lost. It’s never been about that for me. That part of the sport kind of disgusts me a little bit.”
Clementi retired following his loss earlier in the month. Prior to that, he was on a three fight win streak.
He plans to spend time with his family and continue to train up-and-coming fighters at his gym, Clementi’s Gladiator Academy in Louisiana.