The 36-year-old Minnesota native announced his retirement via Instagram on Sunday, pointing to ongoing vision issues as the reason behind his decision. Lentz, who dropped a split decision to Movsar Evloev at UFC 257 on Saturday, had to undergo a risky corrective procedure after being poked in the eye in a loss to Arnold Allen last year.
“They say don’t make rash decisions after a loss, but this one is not rash or even quick for that matter. The injury I suffered to my eyes last year was a career ender,” Lentz wrote. “In total I lost about 40% of my vision, but I wanted to see what one more hard-fought battle was like with the new eyes. It was clear to me last night that it’s impossible for me to compete at this level anymore. I just can’t lock on to a moving target like I should, and with 40% of my vision practically gone... it’s chaotic to the least.
“My life as fighter in the best organization on the planet ends here,” he continued. “I am not sad or upset by it, the day comes for everyone. I stand with my head high, God as my redeemer and my children and wife as my treasure. Fighting gave those treasures and only ask for a little vision as payment. A trade I would make 100% of the time.”
On Saturday, Lentz was battered on the feet consistently by Evloev but managed to make things interesting in the eyes of the judges thanks to a number of guillotine choke attempts. Lentz ends his tenure on a three-bout losing streak in the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion.
“The Carny” went 30-12-2 over the course of a professional career that began in 2005. He went 14-9-1 in UFC competition posting notable wins over the likes of Tyson Griffin, Diego Nunes, Manny Gamburyan, Danny Castillo, Will Brooks and Gray Maynard, to name a few.
“Thank you to my fans, my coaches, my family and everyone who has been a part of this process,” Lentz wrote. “Who knows what comes next for ‘The Carny’.... but I can tell you what it’s not.”