Fighters put their bodies on the line every time they choose to step inside of the cage. For some fighters, the damage they have sustained has taken a toll both on their everyday life and their fighting performance. There are those fighters that know when their time with the sport has come to a close, but in MMA, the unfortunate reality is that most fighters do not know when to call it quits.
Here are the Top 10 MMA fighters that should retire:
10. Gray Maynard: Maynard has lost his last three bouts by way of KO or TKO and has shown signs of a weakened chin, as well his takedowns are not exactly what they used to be. It is believed that Frankie Edgar cracked Maynard’s chin and Maynard has not been the same fighter since that time. He actually started out in the UFC 8-0 and battled to a draw with Edgar, which was for the UFC Lightweight Championship at that time. He had some of the most dominant wrestling that has ever been seen in that division and had dynamite knockout power in his hands. The 35 year old may only risk his future health by continuing to compete in the UFC.
9. Frank Mir: Frank Mir is a two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion and has one of the best resumes as a heavyweight in MMA. He is also known as one of the most dangerous submission artists in the division. As of late, Mir has not exactly shown that he has the same dominance in the division as he once had. Mir is currently on a 4-fight losing skid, does not look too sharp with his hands and his reaction time is off. Some of his marquee victories are over Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira twice, wrecking powerhouse and former champion Brock Lesnar and his first championship by breaking Tim Sylvia’s arm.
8. Josh Koscheck: The bad-boy from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter was a college Division 1 All-American that evolved his game in the Octagon. He was mainly seen as a grappler at first, but was able to develop his striking to be one of the most feared knockout artists in the welterweight division. He is now on a three fight losing skid and has lost the last two by way of KO and TKO. He does not seem to possess the same athleticism and chin that he used to and has not shown any signs of ever making another title run. He has victories over Matt Hughes, Diego Sanchez and Anthony Johnson and is scheduled to fight Jake Ellenberger at UFC 184 in a possible “loser leaves town” match-up.
7. Diego Sanchez: Whether you refer to him as “The Nightmare” or “The Dream,” the reality of Sanchez’s future is scary. He is known to take incredible amounts of punishment and still come forward. He originally started out with a dominant grappling base, but has abandoned his grappling abilities in the octagon and is simply just throwing hands, always trying to get in a brawl with his opponents. He has fought elite competition at both lightweight and welterweight, and has been an elite fighter himself. His run during the first Ultimate Fighter showed how far he was in the MMA game and it showed in the finale as he clobbered Kenny Florian, but a recent fight with Myles Jury showed how Sanchez is behind in the MMA game and just wants to throw at his opponent. All of those shots to the head cannot be beneficial to his future health.
6. Shogun Rua: Once known as the greatest light-heavyweight in the world and the most feared fighter in 2005, Rua has shown a recent decline in his attempts in the light-heavyweight division. Rua still has the power, but his reaction time is not the same as it used to be. He is 2-5 in his last 7 fights and lost via TKO in 34 seconds to Ovince St. Preux in his last fight. He was a proud member from the original Chute Boxe Academy and had a lethal combination of Brazilian Jiu-Jistu and Muay Thai, and he would outclass his opponents on the feet or ground. His weakness lately has been to athletic fighters and shows no signs of evolving his game or style.
5. Alistair Overeem: Once known as the most intimidating and powerful heavyweight out there, Overeem has shown a lot of weakness and has been exposed as of late. He is only 2-3 in the UFC and has viscous knockout losses to Bigfoot Silva, Travis Browne and Ben Rothwell. All 3 of those fighters should have beaten with his kickboxing skills, but it is Overeem’s chin that is not holding up. He is making excuses for losing and saying that he would beat these fighters 9 times out of 10, but continues to lose. It is possible that he has not been the same since he has tested positive for PED use and he is not exactly the force that he once was in the Stikeforce banner and Dream.
4. Dan Henderson: If there was a Mount Rushmore of MMA, you could not make it without including Henderson. With Olympic wrestling and dynamite in his right hand, he has took out Shogun Rua, Wanderlei Silva, Michael Bisping and former all-time great Fedor Emelianenko. Lately, Henderson is not making it to where he wants, which is a UFC title. His hopes of that in the light-heavyweight division were derailed by current contender Daniel Cormier when Henderson was thrown around like a ragdoll. He now is scheduled to fight Gegard Mousasi. It is possible for the 44 year-old to beat Mousasi, but if he ever fights somebody like Jacare Souza or Chris Weidman, Henderson will simply be outclassed.
3. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: An always-elite light-heavyweight that has been a top ten fighter for a solid decade, “Little Nog” has recently won back-to-back fights over former champions Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans, but has only been able to fight about every 15 months because of nagging back injuries. He felt like he recovered from his injuries last July and fought current contender Anthony Johnson and unfortunately was knocked out cold within 44 seconds of that fight. Once known to be one of the most durable fighters out there, Noguiera needs to realize that the competition out there is much too fast and powerful in the UFC at this current time.
2. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: As the twin brother of “Rogerio” mentioned above, “Big Nog” was known as the greatest heavyweight in the world in the early 2000’s. It was not until his defeat to Fedor Emelianenko that he was only in the top 5 after that. He has shown power in his hands against Brendan Schuab in 2011 and showed signs of his dominant submissions against Dave Herman in 2012. But his last two fights have been him getting submitted by Interim Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum and getting knocked out cold by Roy Nelson. Nogueira has been in battles before and has had some serious victories over Mirko Crop Cop and Tim Sylvia where he has got beaten down and came back to submit them, but that has to take a toll on his brain and body. Nogueira should think of his health and future before fighting again.
1. Tito Ortiz: After winning 1 fight in 8 years, Tito Ortiz is actually riding back-to-back victories for Bellator MMA in 2014. “He should keep it that way!” He has shown interest in fights with King Mo and Rampage Jackson. He does have a chance at winning against them, but his wrestling is nowhere near what King Mo has and runs the risk of being knocked out cold by Rampage. He has to ask himself, “Is this how I want my career to end?” With a victory over Stephan Bonnar, it is not exactly over a top-ten opponent, but Bonnar is a name and is in the UFC Hall of Fame. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy ruled the division in the early 2000’s and should respect the legacy that he has already made instead of trying to make a new one. Ortiz should realize that he is 39 and that he has accomplished what he could in MMA and just promote his clothing line and continue to coach other fighters.
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