UFC middleweight Ryan James announces retirement
Middleweight Ryan Janes, the first Newfoundland native in the UFC, entered the league after going 8-1, and went 2-2, most recently knocking out Andrew Sanchez early in Round 3. However, he worked throughout his UFC fight career as a web developer for the British Columbia government, and he ultimately determined that not fighting was financially speaking a smarter and less risky path.
Unlike the majority of fighters, Janes fought a full three times in 2017:
•$14,500 ($12,000 to show, $2,500 Reebok sponsorship) for his first fight of the year; and,
•$14,500 ($12,000 to show, $2,500 Reebok sponsorship) for his second, also a loss; and
•$26,500 ($12,000 to show, $12,000 to win, $2,500 Reebok sponsorship) for the third fight, a win.
That totals $55,000, pretty good money, but when you back out taxes and expenses, it's a lot less.
And Janes, 37, had his first child in March, which appropriately led to some thinking about money and CTE after the last fight.
“I kind of expected it to be my last,” said Janes, as transcribed by Nick Baldwin for BE. “Having the kid, I knew it would’ve made me think about retiring, anyway. I knew there was a possibility I wouldn’t be able to make it back.”
“I had to make the decision that it wasn’t worth it for me to [fight again]. As nice as that extra money is, my career is more important, so I had to step away.”
“My girlfriend was like, ‘I don’t want you to have dementia when you’re 50 years old and not be able to be there for your kid.’
“I know for a fact that I do have some effects from getting punched all the time. You can tell. You just kind of lose words every now and then. I’m saying something, then I’m like, ‘Ah, what word was I thinking of?’”
“My bar was just to make it to the UFC and have a few good fights. That was kind of it for me. I was happy with that. If I had the idea that I’d be a champion, then maybe I’d be not fulfilled with it and I’d still be searching for something. The adrenaline you get from fighting, coming out, being in front of people, performing, that’s enjoyable, but I can also take or leave it. It’s not really that important to me. I don’t think that there’s any chance of me coming back. I’m pretty sure I’m done.”
He will stay in Jiu-Jitsu, however.
“That’s my love and passion,” he said. “I’ll do that for the rest of my life. I’ll get my kid into it. That’s what I want. I love to compete, obviously. I think jiu-jitsu and jiu-jitsu competitions will kind of fill that void, definitely in a situation where now I can diet, but I don’t have to cut weight. I can train on my own time. When a jiu-jitsu competition is coming up, I can dedicate more of my time to it. I can be a bit more organized.”