A BJJ black-belt and MMA competitor, Rafael “Sapo” Natal recently made one of the toughest decisions in a fighter’s career: that it was time to stop.
The 34-year-old Brazilian, who has been in MMA for 12 years, retired from the UFC’s middleiweght division after three consecutive losses. The announcement came in the MMA Hour show.
“I talked to my family, my friend, my coaches,” he said, explaining he now has a new focus in his career as a coach, despite his love for even the more grueling parts of an MMA fighter’s routine.
Sapo ends his trajectory in MMA at 21 wins, nine losses and one tie. In the UFC he had noteworthy wins over Uriah Hall, Chris Camozzie and João Zeferino.
Now we just wonder whether he has an interest in returning to the BJJ mats. Shaped by Vinícius Draculino at Gracie Barra BH, Sapo clearly has what it takes.
Below you can watch Sapo’s first finish in the UFC.