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Tag: retirement

(By the Way, Jens Pulver Retired This Weekend Too)


(Props: Karyn Bryant/MMA Heat)

When BJ Penn announced his retirement last night after getting smashed by Frankie Edgar at the TUF 19 Finale, it signaled the end of an era; yet another UFC legend from the last decade had finally accepted that he couldn’t hack it anymore. But while Penn got to make his final statement on national television to the cheers of an adoring Las Vegas crowd, one of the Prodigy’s greatest rivals made a much quieter exit from the sport.

In an interview with Karyn Bryant published yesterday, Jens Pulver — the UFC’s first-ever 155-pound champion — announced that he was officially retired. Pulver was in town for the UFC Fan Expo, working the FightMatch booth, and had this to say about his competitive status:

I (competed at) 135 for a bit, and I hear everybody saying ‘time to retire’, this and that, and I refused to announce it or say it, but I think I’ve said it like three times today — I’m done. I mean, I’m done. And I think most people are like, ‘Well, you were done like five years ago’.”

It’s the kind of self-deprecating line that we’ve come to expect from the always humble Pulver, but there’s some sad truth to it. Pulver’s career peak came way back in 2001-2002, when he won the UFC’s inaugural “bantamweight” title with a decision win over Caol Uno at UFC 30, then defended it twice against Dennis Hallman and BJ Penn. Since then, his career has been in a long, steady decline, punctuated by just enough bright moments to keep him going.

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Chael Sonnen Announces His Retirement From MMA in the Wake of Drug Test Failure


(Props: UFC on FOX)

Chael Sonnen — the American Gangster, the Bad Guy, the most entertaining talker and most unabashed liar in the history of mixed martial arts — has announced his retirement after sixteen and a half years of professional MMA competition. Sonnen broke the news on this evening’s installment of UFC Tonight. As the 37-year-old former middleweight title contender explained, he planned to continue using the estrogen blockers he had just tested positive for, in order to get his health back to normal without testosterone replacement therapy. And so, he’s taken himself out of the game.

You can watch Sonnen’s full retirement statement above, which naturally contains his usual massaging of the truth and dubious pleas of ignorance regarding the athletic commission’s rules. The important stuff is below…

I want to talk directly to the thousands and thousands of fans who have supported me throughout my career. Guys, I had a great time. And there are so many people to thank, from the leadership of the UFC, to the people here at FOX that have given us such a wonderful platform and opportunity.

I want to thank my coach, Clayton Hires, who has stood by me through thick and thin, who taught me how to work hard, who taught me about discipline. I want to thank Roy Pittman and Dave Sanville, the coaches that I first had when I very first walked into a wrestling room. And these guys have been great.

I want to thank Bill Brady of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, a man I am proud to call my friend. I got a second wind in fighting, I got to come back, and it was solely due to Bill Brady, and I’m very proud to know him and that our paths have crossed.

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Bob Sapp Retires: A Legendary Life, In GIFs


(This is happening right now. Don’t fight it.)

During Saturday’s episode of Submission Radio, combat sports icon Bob Sapp announced that he was walking away from professional fighting at the age of 40, after more than 12 years competing in mixed martial arts and kickboxing. Sapp claimed that he’s retiring with over $10 million in the bank, thanks to a combination of wise investing and his infamous (but income generating) “world tour,” in which he lost 12 consecutive MMA fights in 12 different countries since 2011.

“I no longer have a need to go into the ring for 40,000 for a fight when I’m making, well last month it was somewhere in that realm of over 1 million dollars,” Sapp told Submission Radio. “I don’t need to do that any longer.”

Sapp also went 1-13 in kickboxing since September 2005 — his only victory being an unexpected TKO win via injury — although he saw tremendous success as of late in celebrity arm-wrestling tournaments.

It’s hard to know how we should remember a man whose career saw him go from the terrifying “Beast” of his early K-1 appearances to a walking punchline, who developed a persona better than almost any other pro fighter in history — and became a cultural icon in Japan as a result — who was nakedly candid about his motivations and didn’t seem to give a damn about his reputation as an athlete. Bob Sapp was an entertainer, and truly great at what he did. His career touched professional wrestling, acting (Frankenhood!), and fast-food pizza. He was so much more than just a huge guy swinging his fists at his smaller opponents, although he was that too.

As Internet custom dictates, we will now honor Bob Sapp’s departure with a collection of his greatest GIFs. Check ‘em out after the jump, and hit the “Next Page” buttons for more…

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Dear God, No: Big Nog Eyeing Another Fight After He Returns From ACL Surgery


(Ugh, post-knockout leg lifts are just the *worst*. Photo via Getty.)

There wasn’t an MMA fan among us who enjoyed watching Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira get pancaked by Roy Nelson at Fight Night 39. The ugly loss accounted for Minotauro’s second in as many contests and 5th in his past 8 overall. Even more unsettling is the fact that in those 5 defeats, the formerly unfinishable heavyweight has suffered two broken arms and at least three concussions, not to mention the litany of injuries he’s gone down with in between those fights.

In short, it would appear that Big Nog’s body is trying to tell him something. Unfortunately for his arms, legs, torso, and jaw, his mind has apparently yet to receive the message. It was revealed over the weekend by Nogueira himself that the former PRIDE champion had tore his ACL just days prior to his contest with Nelson, which might have explained why he looked as if he was fighting underwater in the minutes leading up to his brutal loss:

I just got my exams, and I unfortunately tore my ACL. Three days before the fight, I was training wrestling and I twisted my right knee working on a single leg. I stopped training, and I felt it during the fight. I did the exams as soon as I returned to Brazil, and I found out this morning that I hurt the ACL and LCL.

I’m going to need surgery. I had the same surgery on the left knee three years ago, and now it’s on the right knee.

So basically, Nogueira’s body is a ticking time bomb. But rest assured, he still wants another fight…

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And Now He’s Retiredish: Former WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Brown Says He “Won’t Fight Again”


(Brown ends the Faber Era™ at WEC 36. Photo via Getty.)

Following his unanimous decision win over Daniel Pineda at UFC 146, Mike Brown told Ariel Helwani that he was “getting near the end” of his mixed martial arts career, and that he would give himself two weeks to determine whether or not he would, or could, continue fighting. By the time those two weeks had come and gone, Brown had signed a five fight extension with the UFC. It was a hopeful sign for the former WEC featherweight champion, who had fallen on some hard times after reentering the UFC in 2011 only to suffer back-to-back decision losses.

Unfortunately, Brown’s next fight would see his original opponent, Akira Corassani, replaced by fellow TUF alum Steven Siler, who would in turn finish Brown with punches just under a minute into their preliminary card scrap at Fight Night 26. It was a fight I was personally on hand for, and one made all the more tough to watch as a big fan and follower of Brown’s 12 year career.

And now, it seems that Brown has finally decided to call it quits. Sort of.

In an interview with MMAJunkie published earlier today, Brown stated that he has decided to step away from the fighting aspect of MMA, but avoided using the big r-word in doing so.

I don’t think I’ll fight again,” Brown told MMAjunkie. “I haven’t retired, just in case, because I don’t want to be a guy who walks away and comes right back.”

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And Now He’s (Almost) Retired: Vladimir Matyushenko Calls It Quits in Advance, Before Bellator Fight With Joey Beltran


(This is probably the most modest, understated highlight reel I’ve ever seen. Very fitting, actually.)

After nearly 17 years as a professional MMA fighter, light-heavyweight veteran Vladimir Matyushenko has announced his retirement. Oddly enough, Matyushenko has a fight scheduled for next Friday, April 11th, where he’ll be facing Joey Beltran at Bellator 116. But in his mind, he’s already gone.

“This is my last fight,” the Janitor told Frank Trigg during an appearance on the “Toe to Toe With Trigg” interview show on MMAOddsbreaker earlier this week. “Doesn’t matter win or lose. That’s it. [I'll start] training people, there’s a possibility to open my own gym again. Or I could go the complete opposite direction and work the railroad. I’ll be happy just keeping myself busy.”

I’m going to call it right now: Matyushenko is going to lose to Beltran — not that it really matters, even to Matyushenko himself. (“Doesn’t matter win or lose.”) Remember last month when Cyrille Diabate announced his retirement before his fight against Ilir Latifi, and then got choked out without attempting a single significant strike? Diabate’s desire to win had already left him. He was just fulfilling an obligation. That’s basically what’s happening here with Matyushenko.

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And Now He’s Retired: Jay Hieron Hangs It Up After a Decade in MMA

Jay Hieron announced his retirement from MMA competition today via twitter. He retires with a 23-7 record, accrued over 10 years of competition.

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And Now He’s Retired: Mac Danzig Leaves UFC Due to Concussions, Loss of Motivation


(Photo via Getty)

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.

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Selling Booze and Signing Boobs, Georges St-Pierre Is Enjoying His Retirement Responsibly


(Props: YouTube.com/poundforpoundmma)

By Brian J. D’Souza

Despite taking a break from the UFC Octagon, former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has been busier than ever throughout 2014. In recent weeks, he’s spoken out about lax drug testing protocols within the sport, cornered his friend Francis Carmont in Brazil, been the subject of a new documentary, and this Tuesday in Toronto, GSP was on hand at The Fifth pub to promote his partnership with rum maker Bacardi.

“Started drinking Bacardi even before I was associated with them,” quipped the French-Canadian superstar to a crowded room of VIP guests and media members.

The event was representative of the new era in St-Pierre’s life: Instead of being at the beck and call of a promoter, GSP is proud of the fact that he can leave his cell phone unattended for a week. Defending his UFC title was a Sisyphean task; St-Pierre claims his mental health deteriorated under the numerous demands being a professional fighter placed him under.

“I’m very happy where I am right now,” said St-Pierre, speaking to Sportsnet’s Joe Ferraro.


(GSP, living every retiree’s dream. Photo via TerezOwens. Click for full-size version.)

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And Now He’s Retired: Bart Palaszewski Hangs Up the Gloves After 50+ Fight Career


(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.

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