After an often entertaining career spanning 70 professional fights, LaPorte native Brian Ebersole has retired from mixed martial arts.
Ebersole (51-17-1, 5-3 UFC) announced his retirement following a loss to Dagestan's Omari Akhmedov (15-2, 3-1 UFC) earlier this month at UFC Fight Night 68 in New Orleans.
Ebersole suffered a knee injury in the first round against Akhmedov and didn't answer the bell for the second, giving him a TKO loss.
Oddly enough, in a career that spanned more than 15 years, it was the first TKO loss of Ebersole's career. In his 17 setbacks, the nine times he had been stopped were by submission.
But it was that knee injury he attributed to the ultimate reason he retired.
“I'm getting old -- I'm getting up there," said Ebersole, who will turn 35 in November. "I planned on retiring (last) November after the fight in Melbourne, but we'll call it a night tonight. I've had a long career in MMA, a long career in wrestling, and this (knee) has been bugging me throughout my camp. It's been hard -- a hard camp. The stress of worrying about being healthy and worrying about my performance, it's too much."
For nearly the past decade, Ebersole has been living in Australia. And more recently, he's been doing a lot of fighting and training in Thailand, as well. But his roots in combat sports came when he wrestled at Eastern Illinois University. After college, he found his way to MMA in part thanks to fellow EIU wrestler and now UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes.
After a couple fights in Chicago to start his career in 2000, Ebersole's next 10 fights were in Indiana -- with eight of them taking place in Hammond or Highland. In 2001, he even fought Munster native and future UFC Hall of Famer Stephan Bonnar, dropping a submission loss.
Ebersole kicked around the regional circuits for years until he got a short-notice opportunity at UFC 127 in Australia. There, he pulled off a major upset by beating Indianapolis native Chris Lytle. He then won his next three UFC bouts before finally dropping a split decision in July 2012 -- his first loss in nearly four years.
Ebersole, oftentimes thought of as an eccentric character thanks to a history of shaving an upward pointing arrow into his chest hair for fight night, finished his career with 70 total fights in six different countries, and a well-rounded slate featuring 20 submission wins, 14 knockouts and 17 decisions.
"I've come a long way," he said. "I cheated the system. I was a wrestler my whole life. Once I quit wrestling in college, this was the thing I turned to. I extended it another 15 years. I can gracefully hang 'em up and call it a day."
Magny returns at UFC 190 in Brazil: Neil Magny will put his seven-fight winning streak on the line against what will be his most accomplished opponent to date in early August.
Magny (15-3, 8-2 UFC), who has been the UFC's busiest fighter since his debut with the promotion 28 months ago, will face former middleweight title challenger, and now welterweight Demian Maia (20-6, 14-6 UFC) at the UFC 190 pay-per-view in Rio de Janeiro on August 1.
Maia, one of the most renowned Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners in the sport, has won back-to-back fights -- both in his home country of Brazil. But despite his credentials on the ground, he has just one submission win since 2009.
A month ago, Magny picked up his seventh straight win when he stopped Hyun Gyu Lim with a second-round TKO in the Philippines. He picked up his second consecutive $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus check in the process. Those bonuses come on the heels of a 2014 year that saw him tie the UFC record for most wins in a calendar year with five. Maia, however, will be a decidedly major step up in competition.