Fighting Father Time:5 Fighters Who Need to Retire
Last weekend’s UFC 109 featured what must have been the oldest main event in MMA history. As desperately as the UFC tried to make fans care about the organization’s first fight between two hall of famers, few did, and for good reason.
Mark Coleman and Randy Couture stepped in to the Octagon at a combined age of 91 years. Coleman looked like the only things keeping him out of a wheelchair were the braces he had on each knee.
MMA is not a sport where athletes should wear out their welcome. It is a sport where athletes who don’t know when to call it quits find themselves face down on the mat. A place that is becoming familiar territory for these five fighters.
1. Chuck Liddell– UFC Light Heavyweight
Perhaps no fighter has tarnished their legacy more than Liddell over the last few years. Once thought to be the greatest light heavyweight in the history of the sport, Liddell has now lost four of his last five fights.
Three of those four losses have come in brutal fashion to Shogun Rua, Rashad Evans and Quinton Jackson, the other was an embarrassing decision loss to the very average Keith Jardine.
Just when it appeared Liddell was ready to call it quits, or at least Dana White was ready to force him into retirement, “The Iceman” will now fight Tito Ortiz for the third time after the two finishing coaching this season of The Ultimate Fighter.
2. Matt Hughes– UFC Welterweight
Like Liddell, Hughes was once the most dominant champion his weight class had ever seen. But as the sport has grown, Hughes has grown old.
He has lost to current champ Georges St. Pierre twice and the chances of him reaching contender status again seem very unlikely.
The 36 year old has 50 career fights and after settling the score with rival Matt Serra last year, he had the perfect time to retire. Instead, Hughes signed a new deal with the organization and will take on Renzo Gracie at UFC 112.
3. Mark Coleman- UFC Light Heavyweight
After Coleman lost to Fedor Emelianenko in October 2006, it was the perfect time for him to retire. “The Hammer” made the mistake of thinking January 2009 was a good time for him to make a comeback.
Coleman said part of the reason he wanted to fight again was so his kids could seem him in action. I’m sure losing two out of three fights and being cut by the UFC was not exactly what he had in mind.
Coleman’s return should serve as an example for other fighters considering the same thing. Making a comeback so your children can watch you get beat up is probably not a great decision.
4. Frank Trigg- UFC Welterweight
Trigg actually had reason to believe he still had something left in the tank after winning four straight fights from December of 2007 to February of 2009.
Unfortunately, none of those wins came against quality opponents and after suffering back to back TKO losses to Josh Koscheck and Matt Serra since re-joining the UFC, the time has come for “Twinkle Toes” to hang em up.
5. Jens Pulver– WEC Featherweight
Although Pulver is is the youngest fighter on the list, his retirement is probably the most overdue.
He has lost six of his last seven fights and has been finished in five of those six losses.
Pulver seems to be one of those fighters who is unsure as to what his life after fighting will consist of. It would be in his own best interest if he could figure that out soon.