By Mike Russell
We caught up with Carlos Newton briefly over the weekend in Toronto at the MMA Expo and the former UFC welterweight champion surprised us with the news that he has retired.
“I’m retired,” Newton explained. “The sport just isn’t as competitive as it used to be.”
Instead of focusing on preparing to fight inside the cage, “The Ronin” says he has turned his focus on fighting for proper regulation by the people who officiate both inside and outside of it.
“I’m just concentrating on helping to improve the regulation of the sport and I’m looking into becoming a judge. I think that as fighters we have a lot more knowledge and insight into the intricacies of what’s going on in a fight than someone who has never competed. MMA judging needs fixing and I’m hoping I can help do it.”
Having competed sporadically over the past few years, the 35-year-old Canadian racked up a 3-4 record in his past seven fights since 2006, but two of those losses were decisions to UFC vets Brian Ebersole (unanimous) and Renzo Gracie (split).
He will perhaps be best remembered, however, for his controversial knockout loss to Matt Hughes at UFC 34 back in 2001.
With a triangle choke locked in, Hughes picked Newton up carried him over to the cage in front of his corner and slammed him on the canvas, knocking the champion out and winning the strap. On further inspection of the replay of the bout, it appears that Hughes was actually choked unconscious by the triangle and simply fell down, dropping Carlos in the process. The impact actually woke him up and when referee “Big” John McCarthy tapped him to inform him he had won, he asked him what had happened.
(Video courtesy of Videolog/esportesdagalera)
Although he denied being out, Hughes can be heard on the original video telling his cornerman, Pat Miletich, “I was out. I was out.”
(Video courtesy of YouTube/PGudmunson)
He says that retirement won’t mean taking time off to relax on a sunny beach.
“I’m still training and teaching and I’ve got my [construction project management] business and a few other ventures I’m working on,” he explained. “I’m also [still going] to architecture school.”
Newton, who retires with a 16-14 record (which is deceiving considering the level of competition he faced), says that martial arts and MMA are a part of him no matter if he’s competing or not and will always be in his life in some way or another.
“I’ll always be involved with the sport,” he said. “Definitely.”