Alright, this is getting ri-goddamn-diculous.
Less than a fortnight ago, we dropped the official ban hammer on fighters announcing their retirement from the sport, then immediately unretiring. Aside from the fact that most of these so-called “retirements” last less time than the average hangover, the fighters who usually pull this bait-and-switch tend to look anything but “revitalized” or “renewed” upon returning. In most cases, it is quite the opposite.
And the latest offender of our ban? Former Strikeforce light heavyweight and semi-rehabilitated former bastard Mike Kyle, who announced his retirement from the sport following a first round submission loss to Gegard Mousasi in January. As in January of this year. One would think it would take a mighty fine offer against a well known opponent to draw Kyle out of retirement so quickly. One would be wrong, as it was announced recently that Kyle will be squaring off against fellow Strikeforce vet Valentijn Overeem in a heavyweight contest in May. Details via MMAJunkie:
A heavyweight bout between former Strikeforce fighters Mike Kyle (19-9-1) and Valentijn Overeem (32-30) is set for Championship Fighting Alliance’s 11th event, which is slated for May 24 at BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Fla.
We haven’t been this excited for a scrap between two aging lower-tier fighters since the Shamrock/Freeman superfight was announced. Any naysayers out there?
Although Kyle’s decision is a little frustrating from a fan’s perspective at first, it’s not hard to see what “MAK’s” endgame is here. In case you lack the astute observational skills of the average MMA blogger, it goes like this: Kyle never really wanted to retire, but realized following his loss to Mousasi (and given his general reputation in the MMA community) that he would not be heading (back) to the UFC with some of his fellow Strikeforce cohorts. Not wanting to be left standing out in the rain, so to speak, Kyle figured he would save his dignity and retire, then unretire, crush a total can, and declare that “he is back” before starting a #RallyforKyle campaign to finally get back in the UFC.
Nice try, you snake in the grass.
But if you ask us, the real shame here is that — barring the possibility that Kyle has been training at Jackson’s MMA, Black House, and Tristar simultaneously since retiring — there is zero chance that we will see a better version of the 33 year-old in his next appearance. Then again, he will be fighting the other Overeem known for turtling at the first signs of resistance in Valentijn, who is just 1-3 in his last 4 fights including a loss in Russia last December that has yet to even be acknowledged by his Sherdog profile…