7 Mar 2014 20:31:21 PM
7 Mar 2014 20:31:21 PM
5 Mar 2014 06:52:25 AM
UFC lightweight Mac Danzig announced his retirement from MMA yesterday, after a 12-year professional career marked by a King of the Cage title reign, a dominant run on The Ultimate Fighter, and inconsistent performances in the Octagon. Danzig most recently competed at UFC on FOX 9 in December, where he lost a unanimous decision to Joe Lauzon. It was Danzig’s third consecutive defeat, and dropped his official UFC record to 5-8.
Considering how disillusioned he’d become with the sport, Danzig’s decision to walk away shouldn’t come as a surprise. The 34-year-old explained his decision on his tumblr blog, citing recent concussions and loss of motivation as his primary reasons for leaving. Here are some excerpts:
It has been a long, amazing, arduous, thrilling, painful, depressing, spectacular, self-realizing, worthwhile struggle of a journey, for which I have no regrets. I have accomplished a lot in the sport, especially thanks to the many opportunities the UFC has given me. The competition level that I reached is far beyond what I ever imagined being able to do when I first set out to be a fighter in the year 2000. That being said, in hindsight, my enthusiasm and motivation for competition definitely reached it’s peak around 2008 (after 7 years prior of toiling in the minor professional leagues) and it’s been an uphill battle ever since.
I really have been struggling the past few years with contemplating retirement. And with it in the back of my mind, my performance has suffered. Only those closest to me know about this. A true fighter never wants to give it up. The will to compete dies hard. I have had to teach myself that intelligently stepping away does not equal “giving up”.
When you slow down in most other sports, whether due to injury or lack of passion, usually you can still preserve your personal dignity and your physical brain, and keep working hard until you truly know it’s time to leave, but that’s not always the case in MMA.
26 Feb 2014 09:00:35 AM
(Just off camera, Guy Fieri could be heard describing these ribs as “A 1-2 punch to the taste buds from the heavyweight champion of Flavortown. Zabadoo!”)
A 50+ fight veteran of the game since 2002 who has fought under the IFL, WEC, KOTC, and UFC banners, Bart “Bartimus” Palaszewski announced his retirement from MMA on Twitter earlier this week, stating:
It’s about that time! Want to thank @VFDMarketing @ufc @teamcurranmma @SuckerPunchEnt all my fans but I’m officially hanging it up!
KarmaAteMyCat must be crushed.
Although he was released from the UFC last May following a three fight skid, Palaszewski steps away from the sport with an impressive 36-17 record and wins over the likes of Tyson Griffin, Ivan Menjivar, and most notably, current lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Additionally, Palaszewski was a two-time “Of the Night” winner in his brief UFC stint, scoring a KOTN over Griffin at UFC 137 and putting in a FOTN-worthy performance against Diego Nunes at UFC on FOX 10.
But perhaps the most significant thing we can take away from Palaszewski’s career was his absolute fearlessness in the cage. This is a man who was in some absolute wars, people (his battle with Ryan Shultz at the 2006 IFL championships comes to mind), yet never backed down from a fight and always looked for the finish.
We would like to thank “Bartimus” for his devotion to putting on a show in the cage as well as wish him the best of luck wherever the road takes him. Join us after the jump for a look back at some of Palaszewski’s finest moments.Read More DIGG THIS
26 Jan 2014 09:11:51 AM
Josh Thomson is 35 and, if you ask us, should be coming off the biggest win in his career over Benson Henderson. But the UFC didn’t ask us, they asked three judges who gave the nod in UFC on FOX 10‘s main event to Henderson—a controversial decision which put many fans in a state of furious disbelief. Even UFC president Dana White disagreed, and even slighted Henderson’s fighting style.
Alas, a win—no matter how questionable—is still a win. Henderson will climb the ladder, while Thomson and the thumb he broke in the first round will fall down the chute. This is more than Thomson can seemingly bear.
“This might be it, man,” Thomson said at the post-fight press conference when asked about whether his time in MMA was almost over. The frustrations of fighting on the world’s largest stage spilled out of Thomson.Read More DIGG THIS
21 Jan 2014 08:01:23 AM
The last time we saw Chris Leben, he was telling his cornermen “I’m done” after a round’s worth of abuse by Uriah Hall at UFC 168. As it turns out, he wasn’t just done for the night — he was done, period. The TKO loss was Leben’s fourth straight defeat in the UFC, and it finally convinced him that there might be more to life than getting kicked in the head for a living.
On yesterday’s installment of The MMA Hour, Leben officially announced his retirement:
“It’s been a fantastic, wonderful ride,” Leben said. “I’ve landed more strikes than anybody out there. Definitely highs and lows, ups and downs, but I think I’m starting to realize that, for me, it might be time to make that transition away from competing and get more on the coaching side of things.
“After [UFC 168], I wanted to go back and re-evaluate things, make sure that the decision wasn’t based purely on emotion. That it was really what I wanted to do. And now, yes, I can say, I’ve really retired from competing in MMA…
“I’m 33 years old now, which isn’t the oldest for a fighter. But like I tell people, it’s not how old you are, but it’s how long you’ve been doing it. And I’ve been doing this game for quite a while.
“I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me. I would like to still have my head on my shoulders and have a brain when I’m raising kids and doing all the other stuff that I want to be part of. I think it might just be time for me to gracefully bow out.”
Leben, who recently took a job as a coach at Victory MMA & Fitness in San Diego, discussed how his fight against Uriah Hall was a harsh reminder that he’d gone as far in the sport as his skills would allow him, and could no longer be competitive on toughness alone:Read More DIGG THIS
2 Jan 2014 12:22:45 PM
When Din Thomas made his professional MMA debut in October 1998, Bill Clinton was president of the United States, Google had only existed for about a month, and Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones were both eleven years old. Over the course of his 15-year career, Thomas waged war with the biggest lightweight names of his era — including BJ Penn, Jens Pulver, Matt Serra, and Caol Uno — and re-launched himself into the MMA spotlight in 2006 with an appearance on TUF 4 and a subsequent string of wins over Rich Clementi, Clay Guida, and Jeremy Stephens.
After leaving the UFC in 2008, Thomas reinvented himself as a featherweight, winning his next three fights by stoppage. But in recent years, Thomas’s career momentum has ground to a halt. There was his canceled freak-show against Ricardo Mayorga in May 2010, followed by a car accident on the way to a scheduled match in October 2011. There was a suspension and no-contest after his win over Cody Bollinger in May 2012, and a decision loss to Georgi Karakhanyan at LFC 19 last April. But watching some of his old-school peers go down at UFC 168 was the last straw, and Din Thomas announced his retirement yesterday via the following press release:
UFC 168, Weidman vs Silva, could have driven the last nail in the coffin of any idea that anybody from my era could still be champion. Anderson Silva failed to re-claim his title after suffering the 2 [worst] losses of his career to the undefeated, Chris Weidman. Whether Silva manages to ever return to the Octagon or not, this fight was career ending. Josh Barnett, our last heavyweight hopeful was unsuccessful at moving closer to owning the UFC heavyweight title that he once owned. His plans were foiled by Travis Browne. This trend is not necessarily a testament of the evolution of the new UFC athlete, but provides further evidence that my colleagues from the Golden Age of MMA are now of the “Olden Age” of MMA.Read More DIGG THIS
20 Nov 2013 13:00:33 PM
Brian Melancon‘s first year in the UFC has turned out to be his last one. The Texas-based welterweight announced his retirement today, putting an abrupt end to a 10-fight professional career. Here’s his statement (via BloodyElbow):
It has been announced, I am sad to say that my fight career is over. I have been having kidney problems that have gotten much worse recently and just found out that my kidney function has dropped to 47%. If I continue to train, fight, and cut weight then I run the risk of permanent damage. I have been advised by my Specialist to retire and move on and that is what I will be doing. This is not how I wanted to go out, but I have to believe that God has another path for me. Thanks to all of you who supported me throughout my career.
After compiling a 6-2 record with appearances in Bellator, Legacy Fighting Championship, and Strikeforce, Melancon was called up to the big leagues earlier this year, and scored a vicious first-round knockout of Seth Baczynski in his Octagon debut at UFC 162. Less than two months later, he returned to action as an injury replacement against Kelvin Gastelum, and was quickly submitted by rear-naked choke. Melancon was scheduled to fight Robert Whittaker at UFC Fight Night 33 next month, but withdrew from the fight shortly before issuing his retirement statement.
We have no other information about Melancon’s condition, although kidney issues have long been associated with intense weight-cutting in combat sports. Luckily, the 31-year-old isn’t without career options. Melancon holds a Master of Physical Therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch, and has worked part-time as a home health physical therapist during his MMA career. We wish Brian the best of luck in his life after fighting.Read More DIGG THIS
20 Sep 2013 07:31:07 AM
(Admit it. You’re gonna miss that face. | Photo via MMAWeekly)
UFC lightweight Paul Taylor has retired from MMA competition after the most recent of a long string of injuries forced him out of at least his fourth fight in the last three years. Taylor hasn’t fought since his knockout win against Gabe Ruediger in February 2011.
Taylor was slated to face Anthony Njokuani next month in Manchester but an injury forced the 33-year-old British slugger to pull out of the matchup once again. He promptly announced that he was retiring from MMA competition.
“All his old injuries flared up in training,” a source close to Taylor told Fighters Only. “He’s very disappointed not to be fighting on the Manchester card but there’s nothing he can do, these injuries just won’t go away.”
Taylor ends his career with an overall record of 11-6-1 (with 1 NC), and a 4-5 tally in the UFC. But despite his journeyman’s record, Taylor was a consistently exciting fighter, winning three Fight of The Night bonuses since he began his Octagon run in 2007. (In particular, his UFC 75 battle against Marcus Davis remains one of the greatest one-round fights in UFC history.) Taylor was also key part of the organization’s promotional efforts in his native Britain. Taylor fought six times for the UFC in the UK.
Like Shane Carwin, Paul Taylor had enough talent and heart to have a much longer career in mixed martial arts, but his body simply didn’t cooperate. Enjoy retirement and be well, “Relentless” Paul.Read More DIGG THIS
10 Sep 2013 05:40:14 AM
(Riddle’s doctor described the injury as occurring “right about in the toadstool-area.” Photo via Sherdog)
After getting fired by the UFC for a second positive marijuana test and ensuring that he’d never be back inside the Octagon by insulting Dana White’s business acumen and bald head, Matt “Deep Waters” Riddle was preparing to transition to Bellator later this month in a welterweight tournament quarterfinal against Luis Melo Jr. But thanks to another training injury, that fight’s not going to happen, and the TUF 7 vet says he’s stepping away from the sport altogether. As he wrote on Facebook last night:
I’m retiring from MMA today cracked my rib and can’t fight sept 20, Bellator said they can’t find me a fight till the next tournament and I can’t afford not fighting that long and need a job, sorry if I let anyone down but it isn’t paying the bills
Injuries have haunted Riddle’s professional career, which was spent entirely in the UFC. (Like his fellow TUF 7 castmate Amir Sadollah, Riddle only had amateur experience when he tried out for The Ultimate Fighter.) During his five years in the Octagon, Riddle had to withdraw from four scheduled fights due to injury and was pulled off of UFC 141 just hours before the event due to illness.
Making a living as a low-to-mid-level UFC fighter is hard enough when you’re fighting consistently. But if we’re going to talk about lost wages, we have to mention the fines and suspensions that Riddle received from his two separate positive marijuana tests, which he caught following his victories over Chris Clements (which originally earned him Submission of the Night honors at UFC 149) and Che Mills. Both of those wins were overturned to no-contests, leaving Riddle with a lifetime record of 7-3 with 2 no-contests, which would have been a more respectable 9-3 if he didn’t smoke so much damn weed.
Riddle’s latest setback was the last straw for him financially, and he’ll now try to enter general population and get a non-fighting job. (A “regular, you know, job, job-type job,” as Mr. Blonde would say.) But enough doom and gloom. Let’s look at Matt Riddle’s achievements…Read More DIGG THIS
3 Sep 2013 07:54:52 AM
The last time we saw Sean Sherk on the Octagon, he was getting his hand raised following a questionable decision victory against Evan Dunham at UFC 119. In the three years since then, Sherk has been busy rehabbing old injuries and waiting for his next move. That next move never came, and the former lightweight champion steadily faded out of relevance while the lightweight division he helped revive continued to grow deeper and more prominent.
It’s possible that you assumed Sean Sherk — who turned 40 last month — was already retired, but “The Muscle Shark” (man, that nickname) didn’t make it official until yesterday, when he announced his departure from the sport on The MMA Hour. A press release on TrainingMask.com adds that “Sherk plans to maintain his involvement at Training Mask while coaching MMA, and teaching seminars. Sherk is also continuing a successful career in real estate investment.”
Sherk leaves behind a career-record of 36-4-1 dating back to 1999, including wins over Nick Diaz, Kenny Florian, Tyson Griffin, Hermes Franca, and Karo Parisyan, and a UFC lightweight title reign that lasted from October 2006 to December 2007. His only losses came against long-reigning UFC champions: Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn, and Frankie Edgar.
But despite his accomplishments, Sean Sherk was never a fan favorite. Much of that could be blamed on his methodical, slow-grind wrestling approach to fighting — a style that crowds can’t help booing, and which Sherk never really evolved beyond. And unfortunately, his stint as a UFC champion was also the most controversial period of his career.Read More DIGG THIS