Jimmy Flick announces retirement
Fighters retire for all kinds of reasons and at various stages of their respective careers. Sometimes it’s an injury that cuts a career short. Sometimes Father Time just catches up to the best of them.
Other times, motivation — or lack thereof — can be the biggest deterrent to someone who trains and fights for a living. Such is the case with promising UFC flyweight Jimmy “The Brick” Flick, who, at the age of 30, announced his retirement from the sport of MMA on April 10, just weeks away from his bout at UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen-Dillashaw with the weight class champion’s brother Francisco Figueiredo.
Flick took to the center of the octagon at last weekend’s Supreme Cage Fighting (SCF) event in his home state of Oklahoma to make the sudden and surprising announcement in front of a live crowd.
— cornerandcasual (@cornerandcasual) April 11, 2021
During his retirement speech, Flick mentions three goals that he set for himself in 2020 and that he was able to accomplish within that year:
- No more drinking soda
- Make $100,000
- Make the UFC walk
His three new goals post-retirement are to spend more time with his family, help his wife reach her goals, and finish the book he started writing over a year ago to tell his story.
Flick summed up his thought process pretty nicely and with plenty of raw emotion in an interview with Ariel Helwani on April 13. Besides wanting to dedicate more time to his wife and two daughters, Flick also mentions coming to a recent realization that his motivation for fighting, which was to mend a severed relationship with his father, wasn’t the right reason to keep fighting and continue wearing down his body.
“I wanted to make that UFC walk… I also wanted to win my dad back and I still haven’t. And I found out that’s why I was fighting. I was fighting for all the wrong reasons.”@jimmyflick spoke to @arielhelwani about his family and why he walked away from the sport in his prime. pic.twitter.com/tEo8zCULsH
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 14, 2021
In this interview with Helwani and other subsequent interviews after his retirement, Flick cites a conversation he had with his father on Easter weekend as part of his newfound revelation. Flick’s father was his former coach and mentor before substance abuse issues drove him away from the sport of MMA entirely.
“I haven’t talked to my father very much, and that conversation made a big difference on me in my life,” Flick said on the What the Heck podcast. “I thought my dad was going to change his life to come be in my corner in the UFC, to be there like I told people in the Contender [Series]. I thought that would change my dad’s life. I thought it would change my brother’s life. I thought it would let them know, ‘I still want y’all there. I want y’all in my life. I believe in y’all. I love y’all. We did this together. And it didn’t make a difference. So I found out I was fighting for all the wrong reasons. I was still fighting to get my dad back, to get my brother back, to have my family there again, for my girls to see my dad and my brother. And it didn’t matter.”
Flick has also had some other interesting comments when explaining his retirement.
Prefacing by saying that the UFC never did him wrong and that he loves and appreciates what the promotion did for him, Flick had some pragmatic views on the physical toll MMA puts on a fighter’s body.
“…there’s no benefits of beating my body up no more being in the UFC,” Flick said. “We have no 401k. We have no benefits. We have no fallback. Fighters are too stupid to unionize, and it’ll never happen, because there’s other fighters that will fight for that money. I love the money I got, but this is just to go show everybody that money doesn’t buy happiness.”
Flick is 16-5 in his pro MMA career and was in the middle of a meteoric rise in the UFC’s 125-pound division. Known for his submission prowess, Flick won his Dana White Contender Series fight in September 2020 via an Arm Triangle Choke in the third round. His official UFC debut would come a few months later in December and end similarly, but quicker, as Flick submitted Cody Durden with a Flying Triangle Choke in the first round — for which he earned a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
Riding a four-fight winning streak overall, big things in the UFC seemed to be in store for the former LFA flyweight champion. But Flick said, “The UFC is not my dream no more,” and he’s acting accordingly.
Leaving behind his Contender Series contract with the UFC, which starts with a $10,000 base purse, Flick plans to continue working as a CNC operator — a career he has been balancing with fighting but that pays him $40,000 a year with a 401k and other benefits.
Pat Donohue has been covering sports for more than 10 years. He is a former Washington Redskins beat reporter and has been covering the University of Maryland football and basketball recruiting and daily beats for Rivals.com since 2013. Pat graduated from Maryland with his master’s degree in journalism and has received bylines in publications such as USA TODAY Sports, The Philadelphia Inquirer, SB Nation, and Yahoo! Sports. As a wrestler for 13 years in Pennsylvania, Pat has a deep appreciation for MMA and a keen understanding of the sport.