Ilir Latifi is a two-time national wrestling champion who now competes in the heavyweight division of the UFC. The Swedish fighter appeared in 25 MMA events where he secured a victory 16 times and lost bouts eight times.
🔨 SLEDGEHAMMER 🔨
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) October 1, 2022
Latifi last fought against Russian MMA artist Aleksei Oleinik at UFC Fight Night 211, where the Swedish fighter secured a victory by a unanimous decision. After the winning fight, he expressed his feelings in the post-fight interview with the commentator Paul Felder about his fighting spirit as Latifi was fighting with a staph infection.
“Even this week, you see my leg is all swollen. I didn’t even tell my coaches, but I got a staph infection two days ago. And as you can see here, my leg is all swollen. It’s an amazing sport but the margins are so small. You put in so much work and this thing happens on the last day. Today, actually when I woke up, my leg was swollen. I was like, ‘I can’t cancel again,’ so I had to fight like this with a fever and a staph infection. But that’s part of being a fighter.”
The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) found this statement to be a risky decision as there was a chance of more things happening in the game and they could not tolerate this as the fighters didn’t even talk about the matter to the coaches or the association associated with the game. Last Tuesday, the commission took the decision to suspend Latifi until a proper agreement was reached.
However, in the same post-fight statement, referring to his age, Latifi hinted at his retirement from mixed martial arts, stating that his body could not take any more damage and that the fight would be his final appearance for the UFC.
“This was my last fight on my contract. I turn 40 now and I don’t know what happens after this. I wanted to say a special thanks to the UFC.”
And then the suspension was given. Fans are speculating that Las Vegas 61 was truly the final appearance for the Swedish fighter.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) October 3, 2022