Nik Lentz retires:
The road in mixed martial arts ended for Nik Lentz (30-12-2, one no-contest) on Saturday night.
That evening, in the featured Fight Pass prelim of UFC 257, Lentz drew Movsar Evloev (14-0) in a contracted catchweight at 150 lbs.—a fight which went the advertised 15 minutes and saw the latter scoring the win via split decision.
On Sunday, less than 24 hours removed from the fight on the Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier undercard, Lentz made it official that he was retiring from the sport after 45 MMA bouts.
Lentz, who split his time as a fighter between the Welterweight, Lightweight, and Featherweight ranks, said, in part:
“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. In total, I lost about 40% of my vision, but I wanted to see what one more hard 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 onto a moving target like I should, and with 40% of my vision gone… it’s chaotic to (say) the least.”
Looking back on a career that was:
Nik Lentz began his MMA career in 2005, when he scored a first-round submission via rear-naked choke against Jake Hoyer in UCS: Throwdown at the T-Bar in Ellsworth, MN.
The victory that night would be the start of a five-fight winning streak for Lentz to begin his stint as a mixed martial artist, picking up submission wins against Anthony White, Nick Melton, Derek Abram, and Kenneth Allen to run his record to 5-0.
After, Lentz sustained his first defeat in the sport, a split decision against Sherron Leggett in Twin Cities Throwdown in April of 2006.
He’d right the ship in his next outing, submitting Chris Powers via first-round rear-naked choke to improve to 6-1 during EFX Fury that July—before losing to Brian Green (first-round armbar) the next month.
Lentz would then go on a three-fight win streak, knocking out Carey Vanier, Vern Jefferson, and Duran Barlow in the first round of those fights.
On St. Patrick’s Day in 2007, Lentz fought Mark Moreno with the latter winning by first-round TKO after the fight doctor determined Lentz was unfit to continue the match.
That loss was followed up by Lentz’s 10th career victory (first-round submission: rear-naked choke) in September of the same year vs. Gabe Walbridge, with Lentz and Kyle Jensen fighting to the former’s first draw on Nov. 29, 2007.
The UFC comes calling for Lentz:
After the draw, Lentz ran off a six-fight winning streak to run his career mark to 16-3-1 and get the notice of UFC President Dana White.
In September of 2009, Lentz made his UFC promotional debut in the UFC 103 undercard, when in the co-featured dark match, he scored a unanimous decision victory against Rafaello Oliveira, followed by an appearance during UFC Fight Night 20 vs. Thiago Tavares, fighting to a majority draw in a fight where Tavares lost a point in its third and final round (groin strike.)
Subsequent to Lentz’s second career draw, he went on a four-fight winning streak, with three of those wins coming by decision against Rob Emerson, Andre Winner and Tyson Griffin, respectively.
In June of 2011, Lentz saw a controversial loss to Charles Oliveira reversed to a no-contest in UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry from Pittsburgh.
That night, Oliveira landed an illegal knee—but the referee failed to notice this after it happened, and from there, Oliveira took advantage of this and scored a submission by rear-naked choke.
After further review from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, which sanctioned the event, the fight was called a no-contest.
Oliveira would defeat Lentz cleanly in May of 2015 by third-round guillotine choke and May of 2019 by second-round TKO.
Last multi-fight winning streaks:
After that no-contest, Nik Lentz would sustain two consecutive losses before going onto a three-fight winning streak, the last streak of that length for his career, defeating Ejji Mitsuoka (first-round KO,) Diego Nunes (unanimous decision), and Hacran Dias (unanimous decision).
Subsequent to that winning streak, Lentz would not have a winning streak longer than two fights.
Three-fight losing streak and retirement:
Nik Lentz ended his MMA career with a three-fight losing streak.
As previously mentioned, Lentz was defeated by Charles Oliveira in May of 2019, followed by a unanimous decision loss to Arnold Allen, which resulted in the aforementioned eye injury and subsequent corrective surgery, before ending with the defeat to Evloev over the weekend before retiring.
On behalf of all of us at Armchair, best wishes to Nik Lentz in his retirement.