Former UFC veteran James Vick has ended his retirement but is not returning to an MMA cage.
Instead, the former lightweight contender will be stepping into the squared circle for a professional boxing bout.
Vick will be stepping inside the ring to take on Alejandro Heredia in a four-round, 168-pound fight on Saturday at “The Last Combat: Morales vs. Salido” event, which takes place at Mesquite Arena in Mesquite, Texas.
Vick’s UFC run started off strong winning eight of his first nine fights with the organization and was ranked in the toughest division in the sport. He then ran into Justin Gaethje, who KO’d him viciously and Vick’s career took a turn for the worse from there.
The veteran then lost four more fights in a row with three of those coming by knockout, prompting him to retire in February 2021.
James Vick’s Full Retirement Statement
“Idk where to start this.” Vick wrote on social media. “Few days ago I took the worst loss of my career. I went out on my shield like I always have like a warrior. I am very sorry to everyone who helped and believe in me so much this last year. The truth is I haven’t felt that passion/love for fighting the way I use to in a long time.
“But I have always been disciplined and trained hard no matter what. One of my main reasons for still fighting was to prove to my son that you can’t just give up when things get hard in life. But this is not the way to teach him that. This is not like failing a test or losing a basketball or football game. This is combat sports and this shit can be permanent.”
“One of the last punches he landed i knew something was seriously wrong. I’m glad the ref stepped in because lord knows I would have been to tough and dumb to do that. My orbital is broke on my right side, the fracture went all the way through to the other side causing a Bi lateral break plus my jaw is completely displaced so tomorrow they are finally doing surgery to fix it. It really was a perfectly placed shot. The Doctor said i could definitely fight again after this if I wanted to but this was my last fight.”
“I can’t keep putting my family through this. I have reached the top of where I was going to get in Combat sports in becoming a top 10 fighter in the UFC. Honestly that was probably a major over achievement considering I didn’t even start training until I was 20 yrs old, worked a full-time job for almost half of that and had several major surgeries after that.
“Trying to catch these guys that have trained their entire lives has seriously been the hardest thing I have ever done. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Thank you to anyone who has been there to support me, teach me or cheer me on along the way. I have made life long relationships in this martial arts journey I will always be so grateful for.”