11 Famous Actors and Their Embarrassing Early Film Roles

Tag: retirement

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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Pat Barry Announces Hiatus From MMA, Just Wants to ‘Hit People’ Right Now


(Best war-face in MMA. / Photo via Getty)

Over the past five years, Pat Barry has been a beloved presence in the UFC’s heavyweight division. From his savage striking and heartfelt post-fight interviews to his crazy-ass YouTube videos and general passion for life, he’s always been an easy human being to root for. And now he’s gone — for a while, at least.

Barry’s management company SuckerPunch Entertainment posted the following message on its Facebook page yesterday evening:

After long discussions with our client Pat Barry over the recent weeks, he has come to the decision that he will be taking an indefinite leave from competing in MMA. The UFC and Zuffa have been very gracious in releasing him from his contract and Pat is very grateful for everything they have done for him and his career.

“Over the past few fights I’ve just had this sinking feeling in my stomach whenever I have stepped into the Octagon and I realize, I DONT WANT TO WRESTLE. Not saying I will never do MMA again, but right now I just want to hit people. MMA and the UFC have been great to me and I will always support the company and the sport. I want to thank all my fans, sponsors and haters for being with me on this journey and I look forward to what future holds.” – HD!

“Pat and I have talked about this for a while now and with recent changes in the landscape of combat sports, he wants to explore some options and try to get back to his roots. He’s going to take a little time to clear his head and then we will explore our options. We will keep you posted on things as they develop.” – Brian Butler

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And Now He’s (Possibly) Retired: Josh Thomson Says “This Might Be It” After Controversial Decision Loss


(Showboat all you like, Thomson, but God will still be on Bendo’s side come decision time. / Photo via Getty)

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.

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And Now He’s Retired: Chris Leben Walks Away After 11 Years of Rough-Neckin’


(Leben celebrates his knockout of Wanderlei Silva at UFC 132 in July 2011. It would be his last victory pose in the UFC. / Photo via Getty)

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:

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And Now He’s Retired: Din Thomas, Veteran of the “Olden Age,” Steps Away After 15-Year MMA Career


(Thomas lands some leather on Josh Neer during their UFC Fight Night 13 bout in April 2008. / Photo via Getty)

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.

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Hit the Ground Runnin’: Julie Kedzie Lands Gig As Invicta FC’s New Matchmaker


(No, we will *not* stop using this photo of Julie Kedzie, thank you very much. Via MMAFighting.)

Well that didn’t take long.

Just a few weeks after announcing her retirement from the sport following a split decision loss to UFC newcomer Bethe Correira at Fight Night 33, Julie Kedzie has already found a new gig. During an appearance on yesterday’s “MMA Hour,” the WMMA pioneer/adorable cat lady announced that she will be pulling double duty over at Invicta FC moving forward, serving as the promotion’s matchmaker in addition to continuing with the color commentating role she has held since last year. Said Kedzie in a press release:

I am excited about this incredible new opportunity that will allow me to remain as active and hands on as ever in contributing to the growth of women’s competition in our great sport, Shannon Knapp has done an unbelievable job at pushing the envelope and helping transform women’s MMA into an aggressively expanding enterprise, a development that will undoubtedly lead to increased participation in the sport by young women athletes who want to challenge themselves in the world’s fastest growing sport.

Whew. For a second there I thought Kedzie was going to announce that she, just now, had reached the peak of her physical prime and was unretiring. Crisis averted, Taters.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited as all hell to see what kind of matchups Kedzie puts together in Invicta’s *stacked* strawweight division. The possibilities are endless: Thug Rose vs. Hyatt, Van Zant vs. Herrig, Esparza vs….what’s that you say?

-J. Jones

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A Survivor in a Dangerous Game, GSP Finds the Exit Before It’s Too Late


(After 11 years in a sport marked by physical trauma, emotional turmoil, and financial misdealings, St-Pierre is beaten, but not broken. / Photo via Getty)

By Brian J. D’Souza

Last Friday, Georges St-Pierre confirmed what has been suspected since his emotional post-fight speech at UFC 167 — that he is vacating the UFC welterweight title. Some are calling it a temporary hiatus, others see GSP as being permanently retired. Either way, the manner in which these events have transpired is a worthy story in itself.

The key to understanding the way St-Pierre has conducted himself, both inside and outside the Octagon, goes back to his earliest origins growing up in the rural area of St. Isidore, Quebec, Canada:

“I went to a school where it was pretty rough — I’d get my clothes stolen, my cash. And at home life was pretty hard too. I had a difficult childhood,” said St-Pierre to an interviewer in 2006.

The upshot of these challenges translated into the single quality that defines GSP to this day — his relentless desire to please everybody around him. Not only was St-Pierre an absolute perfectionist with respect to his performance as a fighter, but he actively sought to cultivate positive relationships with all of the people he crossed paths with in life.

In a non-corporate environment, that character trait might have gone over better. In the shark tank of pimps, hustlers and thieves who infest the fight game, it made St-Pierre an easy mark for managers who felt entitled to take his money.

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The Four Most Likely Scenarios to Emerge From Georges St. Pierre’s Upcoming Press Conference


(In a shocking turn of events, St. Pierre announces that he will be retiring from MMA to replace A.J. Pierzynski’s catcher’s mitt in the 2014 season. Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.)

As it has been ever since UFC 167, the MMA blogosphere is currently abuzz with speculation regarding the future of welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre. Amidst (hopefully) false rumors pertaining to his father’s illness, an unplanned pregnancy, and a multi-million dollar lawsuit with his former manager, St. Pierre announced his semi-retirement from the sport immediately following his controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks, only to be buried by Dana White for having the gall to worry about his own health and personal life thereafter.

According to the Journal de Montreal, St. Pierre plans on holding a press conference this Friday to address his future in the UFC and clear the air regarding the multitude of rumors surrounding him. But being that sports journalism thrives on speculation, we’ve decided to go ahead and predict the four most likely reasons for GSP’s upcoming presser, as well as what the MMA world will be facing come Saturday morning.

Scenario #1:  Retirement

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And Now She’s Retired: Julie Kedzie Hangs Up Her Gloves Following Loss at UFC Fight Night 33


(Kedzie — being gawked at by Gina Carano and Gary Shaw — in the good ‘ol bad days of women’s MMA. / Photo via George Ruiz)

When Julie Kedzie dropped a split-decision to Bethe Correia at UFC Fight Night 33, it marked her fourth-consecutive loss in MMA, dropping her lifetime record to 16-13. But even before the scores were read, Kedzie had made up her mind that she had reached the end of the road. Directly following the fight, Kedzie went on twitter to announce her retirement from MMA, after nearly ten years in the sport:

Before walking out to my fight today, I had a long talk with my coach and we decided that this would be my last MMA fight. I would have loved to have gone out on a win, but c’est la vie-don’t leave it to the judges. Heartbreak is a huge part of this sport. I really truly want to thank all of you for being a part of my journey as a fighter. I will still be involved in MMA for the rest of my life..but now it’s time for me to accept that I can give more to the sport by stepping back and taking role in helping to develop other fighters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the @UFC, my team, and all of you who have made me achieve some amazing dreams.

Female bantamweight old-schoolers like Kedzie, Roxanne Modafferi, and Shayna Baszler have looked a step behind their more modern counterparts during their brief time featured in the UFC and on TUF, but it would be unfair to chalk it up to a lack of talent. What we’ve witnessed lately has been a generational changing-of-the-guard, in which the pioneers — who often start out one-dimensional, rounding out their games as they go along — are replaced by the young fighters who grew up with the sport.

Julie Kedzie began her career in 2004, when eight-person tournaments were still socially acceptable, before women’s MMA was readily available on television, and when there was virtually no incentive for a women to compete in MMA, other than the thrill of competition.

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Sad Quote of the Day: Forrest Griffin “Can’t Shoot a Basketball, Can’t Throw a Ball, and Has to Brush His Teeth With His Left Hand” These Days


(And to top it all off, his depth perception has somehow gotten *worse*. Photo via Getty.)

Remember how Ronda Rousey told Miesha Tate that she “should get used to wiping her ass with the other hand?” Well, if Forrest Griffin is to be believed, alternate arm ass wiping is probably a reality she’ll be facing down the line regardless of what Rousey does to her at UFC 168.

Griffin recently appeared on The MMA Hour to discuss life after the UFC, and when asked if there ever a possibility we’d see him unretire (because us MMA journalists simply cannot leave well enough alone), Griffin gave a typically candid response:

I physically can’t (come back). I didn’t want to be done, in the beginning. When I announced my retirement, that was actually when I was trying to come back and I realized, it just wasn’t viable. It passed me by. My shoulder is done. I brush my teeth with my left hand now. That’s just the way it goes. I can’t shoot a basketball, I can’t throw any kind of ball. I was right handed.

The last three years, I was kinda fighting with one arm, on and off. My training camp was, I don’t want to call it Frank Mir style, but it was Frank Mir style. It’s like, I’m going to work on whatever hurts the least today. What are we doing today? Well, what’s not broken today? That’s what we’re going to do today.

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