After the UFC tournament in London, it became completely clear that Alexander Gustafsson is no longer the same as before. Nikita Krylov crushed the Swede in the first round, and Daniel Cormier rightly hinted to the Torturer that he needed to leave on time. But Alexander is not the first to delay his retirement in vain. There are enough such legends in MMA.
The Last Emperor is still good and able to knock out the big guys, but victories over Timothy Johnson and Rampage are of little comfort after terrible knockouts in the first round from Matt Mitrione and Ryan Bader. Fedor wanted to leave the sport in 2012 – if he kept his promise, two terrible failures could have been avoided.
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Emelianenko will soon be 46 years old, but he still cannot stop and wants to fight for the Bellator belt to rematch Bader. The fight could turn out to be sad for all Russian fans – such an outcome will only spoil Fedor’s legacy.
The Irishman brought MMA to an unprecedented level, but after that he began to slide down. Conor’s latest fights are only disappointing – McGregor has not won for two years, and the last one who lost to Notorius has already quit the sport.
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Conor has thrown out announcements about the end of his career many times, but it would be better for them to come true. Now Mack is pretending to come back stronger, but we have seen how it ends more than once – just remember the inglorious defeats from Dustin Poirier.
BJ was incredibly good at lightweight – his position and merits were not in doubt. Penn even tried to take the welterweight title from Georges St-Pierre – it did not work, but this did not affect his legacy in a negative way.
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But what influenced it was the unwillingness to leave on time. BJ lost the title to Frankie Edgar and then lost to him in a rematch – a good moment to fold his gloves in the center of the octagon, but the fighter continued to believe that he would return the belt. The result is one victory in the last 11 fights. Hardly worth it.
Chuck held the UFC light heavyweight belt for a year and a half, and then ran into Quinton Jackson. After losing by knockout in the first round, Liddell was no longer the same, failures rained down one by one.
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The victory over Wanderlei Silva did not improve the overall picture – Liddell could have ended his sports career as a legend, but instead he went on a series of four defeats by knockout in a row, and spent his last fight with Tito Ortiz eight years after the fight with Rich Franklin in the UFC.
Dana White kept Cowboy in the promotion to the last. The president of the league understood: Donald is a real symbol of the UFC, even if he has never been a champion. He holds a bunch of league records, hasn’t turned down tough opponents, and has just always been a tough guy.
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But even Cerrone delayed his departure. His early losses to Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor were understandable, but Nico Price and Alex Morono were passable. Seven fights without a win – it sounds tragic, and Donald’s decision to leave, although it looks a bit belated, is still worthy of respect.
The Spider ceased to be a formidable force immediately after the first defeat to Chris Weidman, we just didn’t know about it yet. Silva gave away the belt he had held for years and hasn’t come close to getting it back since.
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After recovering from a terrible injury, Anderson still showed good fights, but only once was he able to win. The Brazilian could not accept that his period of dominance was over, and the best thing that his retirement stage in the UFC gave us was the fight with Israel Adesanya.
Nate’s older brother held the Strikeforce belt for a long time, but wilted after returning to the UFC. The late period in the promotion of Dana White turned out to be extremely dull for Nick – it was worth ending his career 10 years ago, but Nick realizes that he can still make good money.
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He had his last fight with Robbie Lawler after six years of inactivity. Nick came into the fight in terrible shape, lost to Robbie in everything and in the end simply refused to continue the fight after he picked up a lot of blows from Lawler. But, according to several sources, Diaz Sr. earned half a million dollars for this show – the amount for which it was worth suffering cuffs from Robbie.