Photo: Valerie Macon (Getty Images)

Sylvester Stallone’s turned out some of the best performances of his career in the Creed movies, imbuing his aged Rocky Balboa with ample melancholy and a flicker of the fire that once ignited in the ring. Still, as their titles imply, the Creed movies aren’t his stories, but those of Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed. Now, Stallone seems to think it’s time to let his younger co-star hit the ring on his own.

This morning, Stallone posted a video to his Instagram account in which he seems to bid a fond farewell to the series. “Well, this is probably my last rodeo because what I thought happened, and has happened, I never expected,” he begins. “I thought Rocky was over in 2006 [Rocky Balboa], and I was very happy with that.” He goes on to praise Jordan for reviving the series. “Then all of a sudden this young man presented himself and the whole story changed. It went on to a new generation. New problems. New adventures. And I couldn’t be happier as I step back because my story has been told, there’s a whole new world that’s going to be opening up with the audience, with this generation.” He wraps up by hugging Jordan and saying it’s on him to “carry the mantle.”

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Watch it below.

Stallone seems to assert his decision to leave the film’s orbit in the video’s accompanying caption. “I just want to thank everyone around the whole wide World for taking the Rocky family into their hearts for over 40 years,” he writes. “It’s been my Ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character. Though it breaks my heart, Sadly all things must pass… and end. I love you Kind and generous people , and The most wonderful thing of all , is that ROCKY will never die because he lives on in you ….”

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While it makes sense that Rocky would eventually exit the Creed canon, it would be odd if his character was entirely absent from the yet-to-be-confirmed but very probable Creed III. Before he makes that decision, however, he’ll need to bid farewell to another iconic character with Rambo V: Last Blood, which is slated to drop next year.