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Tag: retirement

On Matt Hamill’s Unretirement and Firing: A Lament


(Who saw this coming? We did, that’s who. Photo via Getty.)

Until his initial retirement back in August of 2011, Matt Hamill was considered by most to be a perennial contender at 205 lbs., a fierce grappler with ever-improving striking and a positively inspirational member of the deaf community. While the latter accolade still remains true two years and one unretirement later, the former have seemingly (and sadly) all but vanished in Hamill’s recent octagon appearances.

Following his lackluster decision loss to Quinton Jackson at UFC 130 and a second round drubbing at the hands of Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 133, Hamill quietly stepped away from the sport, stating:

I was ready to make this decision after UFC 130 but my friends, family coaches and most importantly my daughter encouraged me to give it one last chance. My career has been plagued by injuries starting with The Ultimate Fighter and disrupted my training ever since.

There hasn’t been even one training camp where I’ve been able to train without training around an injury. I have not been kind to my body and it has nothing left after 28 years of non stop competition. It’s time to finally give it a rest.

I have fallen in love with the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and I will continue to coach at our gym Mohawk Valley MMA along side my teammates and help the next generation of fighters make it to the UFC. 

You see, that’s the thing that has irked us most about Hamill’s decision to unretire (and we’ve mentioned this before) — his retirement, this statement, was just so, appropriate. Hamill seemed self-aware, he seemed content, and most of all, he seemed comfortable with the legacy he had left behind while understanding that his time — as a fighter, at least — had come and gone. It was a mature, thoughtful decision not often reached by most combat sports athletes, let alone MMA fighters. It was closure.

Less than a year after making said decision, Hamill recanted on it. And now, rather than retire with the aforementioned sense of closure, it appears that Hamill has been released by the UFC following his disheartening loss to Thiago Silva at Fight Night 29. God only knows what lies in store for “The Hammer” now.

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Georges St. Pierre Criticizes the UFC for Not Having His Back on Drug Testing, Considers Retirement After Hendricks Fight


(Luckily, it was a non-title bout. / Photo via Getty)

It’s rare to see a reigning UFC champion publicly lash out at his employers, but welterweight superstar Georges St. Pierre has done just that in a new French-language interview with La Presse. The basic story is this: In July, St. Pierre sought out additional drug testing with VADA for his upcoming title fight against Johny Hendricks, with the intention of making sure the playing field was completely level. Then, negotiations with Hendricks broke down and St. Pierre ended up looking like a villain. But instead of supporting St. Pierre in his efforts, the UFC decided to stay out of it. (UFC President Dana White called St. Pierre’s pursuit of VADA testing “a little weird,” and has maintained that athletic commission drug testing is enough to keep PEDs out of MMA.) And that bothers the hell out of St. Pierre.

I do not know if they (UFC) are willing to support me,” St. Pierre told La Presse. “I thought they were ready to support me, but I was disappointed, very disappointed with this turn of events. There are things I can not say. I do not want to get back to the UFC because it is my employer. However, I do not take journalists for idiots. They are able to read between the lines. They are able to see what happens.”

It bothers me a little to fight against guys who use performance-enhancing drugs, because it is not fair,” he continued. “There are those who say: ‘Doping, it does not bother me.’ Me, it bothers me. But I’ll do it anyway, the fight. Without accusing anyone, if there are some who do not want to do the tests, I’ll do the fighting. It will not be the first time. But it’s just that I’m getting a little tired.”

How tired, exactly? So tired that GSP is now making the first retirement threat of his career, via his longtime trainer Firas Zahabi:

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And Now He’s Retired: Paul Taylor Hangs It Up After Latest Injury


(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.

- Elias Cepeda

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Following KO Loss to Tim Means at LFC 23 on Friday, Pete Spratt Retires, Then Unretires to Appeal Loss


(Gif of the Means/Spratt ending via MMAFighting.) 

With Bellator 99, World Series of Fighting 5 and, oh yeah, Mayweather vs. Canelo all transpiring this past weekend, you might not have heard that Legacy Fighting Championships — the quiet, unassuming, off-off-off Broadway MMA promotion to the stars — held an event as well. Despite featuring a few names that only the hardest of hardcore MMA would recognize (Richard Odoms! THE Carlos Vergara!!), LFC 23 set the stage for a couple notable moments. Mainly, Leonard Garcia picking up his second straight win since being ousted from the UFC and Pete Spratt retiring following his first round KO loss to fellow UFC vet Tim Means in the evening’s main event.

Unfortunately, while we were in the midst of drafting up another “And Now He’s Retired” article to commemorate Spratt’s departure after nearly 50 professional bouts and 15 years in the sport (!), Spratt done went and unretired. After a 48 hour retirement. Vinny Magalhaes was all like “He did *what* now?” and we were all like “Not this shit again,” but it seems that Spratt will be moving forward with his CP ban-violating decision nonetheless. Here’s why:

That was a retirement thing based on a guy who got hit in the back of the head, that was still groggy thinking about his family and that type of stuff, without having had the opportunity to review what actually happened in the fight. If I looked back at it and my skills had diminished, that would be different. But that wasn’t the case. 

Me, I was thinking I just went in there and got my butt kicked, which isn’t what happened after I watched the fight.

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And Now He’s Retired: Matt Riddle Suffers Rib Injury Before Bellator Debut, Needs to Find Real Job


(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…

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And Now He’s Officially Retired: Sean Sherk Faces Reality After Years of Injury Struggles

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.

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Vinny Magalhaes Considering Unretirement Before He Can Even Retire


(Perosh saves his trash talking for the post-fight interview — it’s a strategy that Vinny should probably consider in the future.) 

Well, it finally happened. This whole “fighters announcing their retirement, then immediately unretiring” thing has finally jumped the shark.

You might recall that, in the weeks before his UFC 163 bout with Anthony Perosh, TUF 8 finalist Vinny Magalhaes told anyone who would listen that his 40 year old opponent “sucked” (not that he was trying to talk shit, he also reminded us) and that if he lost to Perosh, he “deserved to be cut.” Fourteen seconds and a big helping of humble pie later, Magalhaes laid down his gloves in the octagon, a universal symbol in the fight world for retirement.

While most of us were waiting for an official retirement announcement from Magalhaes any day now, it seems that Vinny is already recanting his retirement before it could even begin. Well, sort of. He recently spoke with MSN Brazil (via BJPenn.com), essentially changing his stance to “If the UFC cuts me, then I’ll retire.”

I have one more fight left in my contract, but we all know that it doesn’t mean much and there’s a chance that I get cut. Before this fight I said I deserved to get cut if I didn’t win. I’m waiting for UFC’s decision, anything can happen, but I really don’t care, man.

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And Now He’s Retired: Aaron Riley, MMA’s Salty Sea Captain, Retires Following UFC on FOX 8 Loss to Justin Salas


(The first of Riley’s epic pair of HOOKnSHOOT bouts with Yves Edwards. The second is after the jump.)

16 years, 44 (sanctioned) fights and at least three broken jaws. Ladies and gentlemen of the Potato Nation, Aaron Riley has seen it all.

A nine-fight UFC veteran, Riley announced his retirement from the sport via Twitter yesterday after coming up short against Justin Salas on the Facebook portion of the UFC on FOX 8 undercard.

Riley’s loss to Salas was the first time the seasoned veteran had made a UFC appearance since UFC 135 in September of 2011, where he suffered a broken jaw in the first round of his fight with TUF 13 winner Tony Ferguson.

Beginning his MMA career in 1997, Riley built his name under the HOOKnSHOOT banner, fighting alongside (and often with) such future UFC staples as Chris Lytle and Yves Edwards. And not unlike Lytle, Riley would quickly earn a reputation as one of the sports toughest and oft underappreciated brawlers.

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Nick Diaz Considering Comeback, Has ‘Kind of Neat’ Bout Offer From UFC [UPDATED]


(Or, y’all could just keep sitting on that couch. It’s whatever, dude. / Illustration via prebek)

Update: According to MMAFighting, Dana White is denying that he made any sort of bout offer “to Gracie or anyone else that reps Nick.” Huh. Maybe Cesar Gracie has fallen victim to the same mysterious troll that’s been offering Bellator contracts to people? Or maybe Dana just doesn’t like when managers tell tales out of school, so to speak.

In addition to not telling his fighters which UFC publicity events their contracts require them to attend, it appears as if manager/trainer Cesar Gracie has also never really explained to Nick Diaz what a “retirement” is. Diaz said he was done fighting after his close decision loss to Carlos Condit in 2012 only to come back and fight Georges St. Pierre once his marijuana suspension was completed.

Then, after losing a not-close-at-all decision to St. Pierre in March, Diaz said once more that he was done fighting. Now, just a few months from that apparent retirement, Diaz is all angst-ed up from a recent split with a gal and ready to fight again.

The welterweight veteran sent a public message to Dana White a couple weeks ago and now, according to his manager, Diaz is considering an offer from the UFC. Cesar Gracie wouldn’t say who the offer is against during an interview with BJPenn.com, only that the proposed fight is ”kind of neat, I think. But no decisions have been made for sure.”

Whoa, long time since we had a “neat” fight in the UFC. Way to hype this possibility up, Cesar.

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BREAKING: Brian Stann Retires From MMA, Cites Potential Health Risks and New Daughter Among Reasons for Departure


(*Another* new castmember? This show has officially jumped the shark.) 

Wow.

When it was announced earlier today that Ariel Helwani would be hosting a special edition of The MMA Hour in which “a former champion, and one of the most popular names in the sport, will make a special announcement,” speculation began to light up the interwebs like it was a Simi Valley fireworks show. Was Brock Lesnar announcing his return to the sport? Was Bellator dumb enough to actually buy into Tito Ortiz’s “almost healthy” bait-n-switch? WAS ANDERSON SILVA ABOUT TO RETIRE?!

Simply put; no (thank God), not yet, and are you fucking kidding me? It turns out that the “former champion” is question was actually former WEC light heavyweight champ Brian Stann, who shockingly announced his retirement from the sport following his second round KO loss to Wanderlei Silva at UFC on FUEL 8 last March. Citing a new daughter on the way (his third) as well as a concern for long term injuries related to not only his MMA career but his military career and previous football experience among his reasons for calling it quits, Stann was typically composed and grateful, ensuring Helwani that “I leave fighting having taken more from mixed martial arts than I ever gave.”

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