On Sept. 19, 39-year-old Rick Hawn defeated Pat Healy in a five round decision to capture the Titan FC Lightweight Championship.
On Monday, the 25-fight veteran announced his retirement from the sport.
Hawn, who logged 14 of those career fights over a four-year span with Bellator, revealed his decision in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.
“After giving a lot of thought, I probably just had the best fight of my career a few weeks ago winning the lightweight title for Titan,” Hawn said. “It’s been a long road. You’ve been around and seen me years ago in Bellator. I’m 39 years old. It’s time to hang it up.
“I’m going to go out on top, holding the belt. It’s just one of those things. I’m not a young kid anymore. As you know, it’s a hard sport. I’m going out on my own terms. My big announcement is I’m retiring from MMA.”
Hawn says that, despite getting the title opportunity with Titan, he went into the bout with the mindset that it would be his last.
“It’s been on the verge the last couple of years,” he revealed. “Back in 2013, I almost retired when I was with Bellator, having some contract issues with them. I wasn’t really happy at the time. So, I thought about it back then. More recently, over this last summer before I got the call for the Titan fight I pretty much made up my mind that I was going to be done with it and move on to the next chapter.
“It was win or lose, I was going to be done. It’s just better to go out with a win. I think it’s a good way to finish it for me.”
Penick’s Analysis: Hawn, with the exception of two fights, was at the very least extremely competitive with everyone he ever fought. He had a great run in Bellator in two different divisions, and finished up with a win over a Strikeforce and UFC vet in Healy. He may have never gotten himself into the conversation of elite fighters, but he was very good for a significant amount of his run. Good for him on walking away on his own terms, as so many fighters aren’t afforded that opportunity.