James “The Texecutioner” Vick has officially called it a career as a professional mixed martial artist after suffering a vicious KO loss (his 4th in his last 5 fights) at the hands of Andre Fialho in the 2nd round last Saturday night in West Palm Beach, Florida at the promotional rebirth for XMMA.
Yours truly was in attendance as I was the ring announcer for the show, and let me say that it was much worse watching at cage side than what it was watching the event stream on Fight Network.
The opening stanza saw Vick come out with confidence and aggression. He wanted to be first, and he was all through the 1st round which he won. His striking with both his hands and feet looked crisp, like the Vick we were used to seeing before the current skid that eventually led to his retirement announcement, which he made via Instagram.
Round 2 came, and with it came a laser-focused Fihalo, who now seemed to have caught his groove, and more importantly, figured out how to deal with the awkward and unconventional Vick. It was all Fialho in the second. The turning point came when Fialho cracked Vick and sent his mouthpiece flying, after that, the talented Fialho let his hands go, and put Vick away in a violent fashion.
Vick, an alum of The Ultimate Fighter, and 14 fight (9-5 UFC, 13-6 overall) octagon veteran didn’t fight the easy fights. His last 4 in the octagon were against Niko Price, Dan Hooker, Paul Felder, and Justin Gaethje. A true list of some of the best in the world. He amassed two separate 4 fight winning streaks, including going 5-0 in his 1st five fights with the UFC. In other words, Vick was a fighter’s fighter!
In spite of the recent run of losses, Vick was always a fun fighter to watch. He always came ready to work, never missed weight, wasn’t in the news for any shenanigans, and you could always count on him stepping in against anyone, and doing his best to deliver a how.
Check out Vick’s retirement statement below:
- “Idk where to start this. A few days ago I took the worst loss of my career. I went out on my shield like I always have like a warrior. I am very sorry to everyone who helped and believe in me so much this last year. The truth is I haven’t felt that passion/love for fighting the way I used to in a long time. But I have always been disciplined and trained hard no matter what. One of my main reasons for still fighting was to prove to my son that you can’t just give up when things get hard in life. But this is not the way to teach him that. This is not like failing a test or losing a basketball or football game. This is combat sports and this shit can be permanent. One of the last punches he landed I knew something was seriously wrong. I’m glad the ref stepped in because lord knows I would have been too tough and dumb to do that. My orbital is broke on my right side, the fracture went all the way through to the other side causing a Bilateral break plus my jaw is completely displaced so tomorrow they are finally doing surgery to fix it. It really was a perfectly placed shot. The Doctor said I could definitely fight again after this if I wanted to but this was my last fight. I can’t keep putting my family through this. I have reached the top of where I was going to get in Combat sports in becoming a top 10 fighter in the UFC. Honestly, that was probably a major over achievement considering I didn’t even start training until I was 20 yrs old, worked a full-time job for almost half of that, and had several major surgeries after that. Trying to catch these guys that have trained their entire lives has seriously been the hardest thing I have ever done. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Thank you to anyone who has been there to support me, teach me, or cheer me on along the way. I have made life long relationships in this martial arts journey I will always be so grateful for. It bothers me that my 3-year-old son has to see his daddy with his jaw wired shut for 4 to 6 weeks because of all this. He is so little and doesn’t understand. Time to move on and focus more on my family and raising my son to be a great man.Thank you everyone and thank this sport for the memories.”
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.