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Tag: UFC retirement

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira To Retire! In 2015!


(via Nog’s Instagram)

There was a time, not too long ago, when Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was considered indestructible. Beatable maybe, but finishable? Please. What was Fedor or Cro Cop or Werdum going to do to Big Nog that a Mac truck hadn’t already done? You could drop an anvil on this guy’s face, an anvil I tells ya, and his jaw would split the sumbitch in half like a coconut.

Lately, however, Nogueira has looked something less than invincible in the octagon. He’s looked slow, tired, vulnerable. That he’s been finished in all five of his past losses (alongside which he has earned just three wins) further points to his ever-deteriorating skillset, with his most recent knockout loss to Roy Nelson being a particularly tough pill to swallow. Or even look at. Yet he forges ahead, despite near constant protests by fans, media members, and most likely his family to call it quits.

I know, you’ve heard this all before — hell, I’ve probably lamented Nog’s stubbornness a couple dozen times by now. But today brings good news, Potato Nation! In an interview with Ag.Fight (via MMAFighting), “Minotauro” finally discussed his retirement! Hallelujer!!

And the best news is…it’s not happening as soon it should, actually…

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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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Matt Hamill to be Beaten Back Into Retirement by Thiago Silva at “Fight Night 29″ in Brazil


(Oh, this? Shaving accident.)

If Matt Hamill’s uninspired victory over Roger Hollett at UFC 152 didn’t make him reconsider his decision to hastily unretire from MMA just a year after retiring, perhaps his next fight will.

MMAWeekly is reporting that the TUF 3 alum and 14-fight UFC veteran is currently in talks to face Brazilian slugger Thiago Silva at the tentatively-titled “Fight Night 29″ card that goes down on October 9th. The only other fight currently booked for the card is Erick Silva vs. Dong Hyun Kim.

As much as we respect Hamill’s skills both inside the octagon and around the opposite sex, this matchup worries us, and not just because Brazilians are unstoppable killing machines when fighting in the motherland. Without getting into the age old debate of whether or not retirement should be up to the fighter and the fighter alone, can we all just agree that Hamill’s prime years in the spotlight have come and gone?

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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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And Now He’s Retired: UFC Lightweight John Cholish Hangs Up the Gloves Over Low Pay


Cholish estimates that after training costs, his paycheck from last night’s fight wasn’t enough to break even. Photo courtesy of his Twitter page.

No matter how gloriously cheesy the TapouT commercials try to make it look, life as a fighter is far from easy. Training full-time is extremely taxing on your body, promoters and fellow fighters alike can be shady, unpleasant individuals, sponsors try to stiff you, and because the pay involved is so low for most fighters, it’s all essentially just for the glory of saying you’re better at a sport than the guy across from you.

That’s why – in many ways – it should come as little surprise that UFC Lightweight also-ran John Cholish is walking away from the sport after his loss to Gleison Tibau during last night’s UFC on FX 8.

If you find yourself wondering who John Cholish is, you’re far from alone. After compiling a 7-1 record in the minor leagues – including a victory on the undercard of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva – the Renzo Gracie product made his UFC debut at UFC 140, where he defeated Mitch Clarke by second round TKO. This would be the final victory of his career, as Cholish would then drop a decision to Danny Castillo during the UFC on FOX 3 undercard, lose to Gleison Tibau last night and retire from the sport. Another small fish in a big pond, whose career barely made a splash.

Perhaps fittingly, Cholish’s retirement may very well end up being the most significant part of his career. Cholish – who announced his intent to retire on Twitter shortly before the his fight – made it clear while speaking with MMAJunkie.com that the low paychecks that fighters in his position earn were his primary motivation for hanging up the gloves. Via MMAJunkie:

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UFC Heavyweight Christian Morecraft Announces Retirement, Looks for ‘Easier Way to Make a Living’


(Undeniable proof that Stefan Struve is a reptilian shape-shifter. / Photo via Getty Images)

In the world of combat sports, there’s nothing sadder than a fighter who doesn’t know when to quit — who continues to risk his body and brain for diminishing paychecks, long after the fight business has chewed him up and spat him out. So in way, the recent news of Christian Morecraft’s retirement should be considered a happy ending, because at least he won’t end up a penniless vegetable. It’s the little victories, folks.

After kicking off his career with six consecutive first-round victories competing in Massachusetts for Reality Fighting and CFX, Christian Morecraft entered the UFC in 2010, where the 26-year-old heavyweight prospect went 1-3, including a submission victory over Sean McCorkle, and knockout losses against Stefan Struve, Matt Mitrione, and Pat Barry. Morecraft’s slugfest against Barry picked up Fight of the Night honors at UFC on FX 1, but he never returned to the Octagon. In fact the last bit of news we heard about him was when he picked up a drunk driving charge in September.

Yesterday, Morecraft posted the following on his Facebook page:

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Just Six Months After Retiring, Tito Ortiz is Already Discussing His Un-Retirement


(And when I say “bitch,” I mean it in the politest sense of the word possible.)

*takes a seat in rocking chair, lights up corn cob pipe*

You know, kids, there used to be a time when words like “retirement,” “marriage,” and “my totally real dead girlfriend” used to mean something. Perhaps it was just a simpler time back then, but when a man (or a woman that had somehow shoehorned her way into an office environment) gathered his co-employees around and announced that he was hanging it up, it was meant to be permanent. Bill Russell never came back. Vince Lombardi never came back. Pete Maravich tried to come back and dropped dead on the spot. Retirement was supposed to be a one way street, paved with early bird discounts, cheap medications, and eventually death. Sweet, sweet death. But then Muhammed Ali had to go and ruin everything.

*sets down pipe to chase Jehovah’s Witnesses down sidewalk*

In the past couple years, we’ve seen such notable fighters as Jamie Varner, Matt Hamill, and Chris Lytle announce their retirement from MMA. Of those three, the first two have already returned to the sport, and the latter has suggested that he would fight again under the right circumstances. And now, you can add UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz to the list of fighters who feel they might have called it a career a bit early. In an interview with BloodyElbow, Ortiz stated that he would be open to the idea of coming out of retirement, but only once all of the injuries that have plagued his MMA career since ever were finally dealt with:

Right now, I’m only four weeks out of neck surgery, and then I have to get the ACL surgery. I still need to recover from that before I start thinking about anything, and if I’ll compete again. You never know, I may come out of retirement. It’s all about how my body recovers.

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And Now He’s Retired: Stephan Bonnar, UFC Savior, Retires From MMA


(Godspeed, you strange, beautiful warrior. / Photo via Heavy)

His gritty decision loss to Forrest Griffin at the first TUF Finale helped turn the UFC’s fortunes around, and his most recent fight against Anderson Silva saved UFC 153 from possible extinction. The American Psycho shed his blood for the good of the sport, and now he’s gone.

It was confirmed yesterday that Stephan Bonnar will be retiring from MMA following an 11-year career, including a 15-fight stretch in the UFC where he went 8-7. It’s likely that he’ll be remembered more for his defeats than his victories — besides the aforementioned losses to Griffin and Silva, Bonnar also has the dubious honor of being an early victim of Lyoto Machida, a member of Jon Jones’s spinning-back-elbow highlight reel, and the last person to be defeated by Mark Coleman (ouch).

Still, it was a joy to watch him compete, and when he won, it was a triumph. I know it sounds cliched and pandering to talk about “heart,” “warrior spirit,” and “never-say-die attitude” when you’re discussing a fighter who was never able to come near a title belt, but in Bonnar’s case, those terms genuinely apply. He was one of the good guys, and his generosity with fans even extended to two-bit MMA blogs like ours.

CagePotato.com would like to wish Stephan Bonnar the best of luck on his future endeavors, and thank him for the years of entertainment he’s given us in the UFC. Please share your favorite Stephan Bonnar moment in the comments section, and check out the full video of Bonnar vs. Griffin 1 after the jump.

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Swedish Kickboxing Legend Jorgen Kruth Retires From MMA…Less Than a Month Out From His UFC Debut


(“One way or another, you *will* be able to dodge bullets like Keanu by the time this is over.”) 

You may or may not be aware of this, but tucked away on the preliminary card of the upcoming UFC on FUEL 5: Struve vs. Miocic card that noone can seem to stop talking about was the long awaited UFC debut of a Swedish kickboxing legend by the name of Jorgen Kruth. A three time K-1 champion and two time World Muay Thai Council Super Heavyweight Muay Thai World Champion, Kruth scored victories over fellow kickboxing champions Ray Sefo, Vitali Akhramenko, and Bob “Bitch Tits” Sapp before transitioning to MMA in 2009. He was successful in all of his first five contests, with none of his victories making it out of the first round.

After being forced to pull out from his originally scheduled debut against Cyrille Diabate at UFC on FUEL 2 due to a rib injury, Kruth was expected to grace the octagon for the first time against Brazilian body shot specialist Fabio Maldonado at the September 29th-scheduled event. However, in what may very well be an unprecedented move for a debuting UFC fighter, Kruth has actually retired from MMA less than three weeks out from his fight. The Swede made the announcement earlier today to the Swedish newspaper Expressen (as transcribed by MMAViking, appropriately enough), stating “…the last few years I have felt that I have not been there enough for my son, it’s been tough.”

After the jump: More comments from Kruth explaining his decision, and a video of him beating the shit out of Bob Sapp in a kickboxing match. And by beating the shit out of him, we mean kneeing him into submission. As he was falling back. With one of the first strikes he threw.

And yet another audience went home wondering why in the hell they passed up a trip to the zoo for that bullshit.

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Is Chael Sonnen Calling it Quits?


(Sonnen tries to remain calm while scanning for the nearest exit at the UFC 148 pre-fight press conference.) 

How the high and mighty have fallen, Potato Nation.

Just a few days after coming up short (again) against Anderson Silva at UFC 148, the rumors and speculations of what lies in store for middleweight contender Chael Sonnen have already begun to take on a life of its own. And at the forefront of those rumors, is the possibility that we may never see perhaps the greatest fight-hyper in the biz in the octagon again. Now, we aren’t normally quick to buy into retirement rumors that come in the immediate aftermath of a fight, even when they are coming from the fighters themselves. Because, as was the case for B.J. Penn and Jamie Varner, these supposed “retirements” were more or less a way of coping with the frustration that comes with of a string of losses (or in Sonnen’s case, a particularly hard loss to swallow), and were over before most of us compile a “Best of” list for either man. The jury is still out on how long Nick Diaz will hold out, but we’re guessing it will likely coincide with his recent suspension.

But regardless of the semi-thesis statement we’ve just laid before you, the head grappling coach at Xtreme Couture, Neil Melanson, feels that we may have seen the last of Sonnen for now. Melanson took over Sonnen’s UFC 148 training camp after Scott McQuary, Sonnen’s longtime head coach, suffered a heart attack a couple months back, and recently sat down with the ironically-titled Verbal Submission Radio to discuss Sonnen’s future in the sport:

Any time you’re a part of training camp or you’re friends with somebody and they lose, you just worry about them like, how are they gonna handle it mentally? Are they gonna come back from this? You know, I don’t know what Chael’s plans are, but I got a feeling he’s done fighting. I don’t know. I’ve just got a feeling he’s done. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think he was serious when he said, ‘If you beat me, I will leave forever,’ and there’s a very good chance of that.

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