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Carlos Newton Quietly Retires from MMA Competition to Focus On Helping to Improve the Regulation of the Sport

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.”

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Todd M- December 5, 2011 at 9:14 pm
Also @ Buster Hymen, Hilarious. Coincidentally the king of pop KO'd one of the Vanilli bro's at a concert in Japan.
Todd M- December 5, 2011 at 9:04 pm
Yeah the 'MMA is not competitive' remark is puzzling, look at the turnover in Champions at the moment, MMA is more competitive now than ever. I have always liked Carlos, his fight with Renzo in Pride is an all time classic, a grappling clinic. Carlos always came to fight and he really embodied the spirit of martial arts, good luck Ronin I wish you well in whatever you do in life and it would be a great thing to have a knowledgable fighter behind the judges table.
Buster Hyman- December 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm
i was bummed out when him and his brother got busted for lip syncing
XENOPHON- December 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm
@Mike Russell - Newton and College
Newton, a former linguistics student at Toronto's York University, did his study on geriatric medicine, having done research at Baycrest Hospital, one of the world leaders in geriatric care. However, he now has a full-time job in the field of architecture.
Liverpunch- December 5, 2011 at 11:50 am
I don't know about this whole 'not competitive' thing. The sport has gone from everyone bringing their own style and seeing what works and what doesn't. Nowadaze, folks got a better idea of what works and how to better adapt these styles to their taste. If anything, this knowledge and accessibility makes it more competitive...but that's just me...and Merriam-Webster.
ccman- December 5, 2011 at 11:42 am
I think Hughes was going and reflexes kicked in, that was a power slam, that was not just falling down. I watched one of the links that popped up after the video that showed an aerial view and he stepped back and you could see the muscles tense up and a slight wind up for the slam.
El Guapo- December 5, 2011 at 11:17 am
Can't really blame Big John too much on that call. It did appear as if Hughes powerbombed Newton, as opposed to simply falling down. But even if a certain Canadian writer -let's call him Ike Muscle, Imus for short- disagrees, surely he'd have to admit Hughes was the least knocked out of the two.
El Guapo- December 5, 2011 at 11:06 am
What kind of Engli... Nevermind.
bitteralex- December 5, 2011 at 11:06 am
geez... newton is only 35? I remember watching him lose that Hughes fight... that seems like eons ago... I always hated newton even though he's a fellow Canadian but @morningwood how can he be bitter about losing the title? if memory recalls he was given an immediate rematch and he was beaten soundly
ThePeoplesTroll- December 5, 2011 at 9:42 am
damn carlos seems like a busy ass dude good for him tho
Mike Russell- December 5, 2011 at 9:32 am
Yeah. He quit med school a while back after he sold the retirement home he owned. He was studying geriatric medicine I believe -- in school, not on the residents of the home.
CrushCo- December 5, 2011 at 9:22 am
I always thought he got robbed in his tournament loss to Henderson. Wasn't Newton in med school at one point? I guess he moved on?
Morningwood- December 5, 2011 at 9:11 am
sounds like he's still bitter in losing his title to MAtt Hughes.
Fried Taco- December 5, 2011 at 9:11 am
I agree, MMA just isn't competitive anymore... There is just no competition. It's the same guys winning over and over, using the same skill sets. It has become totally boring, like ice skating. It will be great if Carlos can help improve the judging, so fighters will be more comfortable with letting the fights go to a decision instead of always trying to get a finish. That will bring back some excitement to the sport!