Jorge Rivera goes out a winner, retires following TKO victory over Eric SchaferPosted on January 21, 2012, 12:44 PM by Joey Santosus
After competing in the sport for more than a decade, veteran UFC Middleweight, Jorge Rivera, has retired from mixed martial arts.
News of Rivera's impending departure came prior to his UFC on FX bout with Eric Schafer, as he confirmed with his employers that, win or lose on Friday night, it would be his last venture inside the octagon. Making good on his word, Rivera capped-off his 29-fight professional career with a victory before making the announcement during his post-fight interview.
"I want to thank Zuffa. I want to thank Dana White, the Fertitta brothers, Burt Watson, who's voice I'm going to miss dearly in the back," Rivera told UFC commentator Jon Anik. "I'm grateful I fought here in front of a lot of great people. It's been a real nice trip. It's been real good to me. Thank you."
His victory over Schafer came in vintage "El Conquistador" style. Rivera maintained his composure in the opening-round, while his opponent, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black-belt, continuously searched for submission opportunities from top control. Undeterred, he answered the bell for the second stanza as the fresher fighter, shrugging off one final takedown attempt by Schafer before blasting his downed opponent with several heavy shots to force a referee stoppage.
Improving his record with the promotion to 8-7 (20-9 overall), the win marked his 14th via knockout, and perhaps more importantly, sends Rivera off into the sunset with the taste of victory.
"It wasn't a hard decision at all," he told MMAJunkie.com. "I'm very happy with what I've done here, and I'm very happy with what it gave back to me, and it's time to go. I'm happy to be going with a W."
Further Reading: UFC on FX1 Recap: Miller, Neer and Barry earn first round victories
Photo: Francis Specker