Temecula, CA — Win or lose, middleweight contender John Salter knew he was going to lay down the gloves at Bellator 293.
It just so happens that Salter (19-6) got to do it off a win, over a tough opponent in Aaron Jeffery. In what was a grinding, slow-paced affair, Salter came away with a clear-cut decision in his retirement fight.
“I knew I was done. I’m 38, I’ve been competing at a pretty high level since middle school and high school. Just a lot of intensity,” Salter told media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight. “I’m ready to move on to a part of my life where I live vicariously through other people in the gym.”
Salter will continue to run his gym and be involved in mixed martial arts. And he walks away off a win over a future contender in Aaron Jeffery, long considered a blue chop prospect in the sport. “It was just a real blessing to have a fight like that, with someone of that caliber. It would have been great to get an easy fight to go out on, but it was really good,” said Salter. “I knew this last camp, I had to treat it like I’m fighting for a world title to be able to come out with a win.”
While he appears content with his decision, there is one fight out there that would get John Salter back in the cage: Costello van Steenis, if the Dutch fighter goes on to win gold. Salter picked up a unanimous decision win over van Steenis back in 2019.
“The only way that I come back is if Costello van Steenis wins the title and wants to fight me again. That would be the only way I come back,” Salter revealed. “I know he really wants to fight me again. I lost a few years off my life in that fight, but I’ll do it again if he’s got the title. That’s the only way.”
Watch the full Bellator 293 post-fight press conference with John Salter above.