is calling it a career at 39 years old.

The Knoxville, Tenn., native left his gloves in the Octagon
following a split-decision loss to Clay Guida at

UFC on ESPN 42
, signaling the end of a professional MMA tenure
that began in 2012. “Hot Sauce” went 7-6 in UFC competition after
making his promotional debut in 2015 but ended his career with
successive losses to Guida, Mateusz
and Beneil

“It’s bittersweet, man,” Holtzman said at a post-fight press
conference (via
). “I was coming off two bad losses in a row to
what turns out to be really good guys. All my losses, killers. I
got into the UFC when I was 30 years old. I was just a guy from
Tennessee, an athlete. I started being pretty good at fighting and
just rode the wave. All of a sudden I’m up here in the UFC with
these world champions and jiu-jitsu black belts and Division I
wrestlers. I’m just a kid from Tennessee. It’s been a hell of a
ride. I’ve had a lot of great opportunities from the UFC and
through fighting I’ve met some of the best people in the world.”
Holtzman began his pro career with eight consecutive triumphs,
including a submission of Anthony
in his Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 73. At
one point, he was victorious in five of six UFC appearances from
April 2017 to February 2020. He exits the sport with a 14-6 career
mark that includes notable wins over the likes of Jim Miller
and Alan

“I’m happy with my body of work,” Holtzman said. “I wasn’t supposed
to be here. All I ever wanted to be was a professional athlete, and
I ended up doing that. I’ve hung in here with the best guys in the
world. I was ranked just outside the Top 15, and that ain’t

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’It’s Been a Hell of a Ride’