Freelance: Rashad Evans and 5 UFC Stars That Need to Retire Immediately
As beautiful as the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) can truly be, it is a sport that will chew you up and spit you out, and there are some fighters still climbing in the cage that are making the sport SAD to watch. The names listed below are just a few of them.
6. "Suga'" Rashad Evans
It takes very little time to explain why Evans is on this list. Like a number of others on it, Evans just isn’t ready to accept the fact that the younger generation is passing him by—or, more accurately, using him as a platform to elevate their careers. They are able to do this because while he still has his fighter’s mind, Evans doesn’t have the body.
While the way his fights have ended when he loses isn’t as devastating as the other listees, they aren’t pretty. We are seeing him slow, age in the cage and he hasn’t been anywhere near the title picture since he lost the light heavyweight (205-pound) belt but rebounded to face Jon “Bones” Jones in 2012.
Evans fought once between 2015-2016 due to both a leg an knee injury and he hasn’t been the same since coming back last month in another losing effort.
5. "The Prodigy" BJ Penn
Apparently “The Prodigy” didn’t learn anything from his depressing bout against Frankie Edgar that sent him into his first retirement from MMA. When it was announced that he would be returning in January of this year to face hot up-and-comer Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez, he was outright delusional in thinking that he could make a run at the UFC featherweight (145-pound) championship.
While some men fight until they absolutely can’t due to financial issues, the problem with Penn was and still is very obvious (similar to Ken Shamrock, another entry on this list.) For whatever reason, Penn simply can’t sit on his couch and enjoy the fruits of his labor for any extended period of time to actually have it feel like he’s retired.
In pro wrestling, it’s a tradition for veterans that are aging out to “put over” the younger guys by going out in humble defeat. But this isn’t pro wrestling and now Penn’s legacy (he’s one of only three men to win a UFC championship in two different weight classes) is being tarnished because of it.
The fight with Rodriguez went as expected (the man who can no longer accurately be called a prodigy lost via second-round TKO due to a front kick and punches) and Penn became a stepping stone because of his name value.
4. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
Jackson fought the last fight in his two-fight settlement with Bellator MMA after an infamous lawsuit for failed promotion, breach of contract, and other issues at the recent Bellator 175 event against "King Mo" Lawal. He now may or may not be returning to the UFC—he shouldn't.
While he may not be openly discussing retirement, he is openly displaying that he no longer has the heart to fight. With no heart left, you are doing a disservice to not only fans but yourself.
Jackson told ESPN in March: “I would have to honestly say that my biggest regret is even starting this sport…I gained a lot of fans, I made a lot of money, but I feel like I lost my family,” he continued. “I don’t see them; I don’t know them.”
Get out. Your contract is over. Get out now.
3. Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez
Melendez admittedly still could have a few years of gas left in the tank as he’s currently 35 years old, but his UFC run simply hasn’t been that great (1-4), and despite the one win being after a war of heavy leather opposite Diego Sanchez (a Fight of the Night in 2014) for obvious reasons, he hasn’t been a major draw since he title reign in Strikeforce.
Following UFC 188 Melendez was suspended a year for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Although related to the PED test failure, the suspension was for violating the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy. He returned to action last July in Chicago, losing to Edson “Junior” Barbosa by way of a unanimous decision to put him at the already mentioned status of 1-4.
The Californian is plenty busy running his own gym and corning fighters. It should always be viewed as a better option to go out on your own terms rather than get cut by the UFC.
2. “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey
Following six defenses of the UFC women’s bantamweight (135-pound) championship and to crushing back-to-back knockout defeats, the whole world figured out how to stop the one-dimensional plan of attack from her camp of striking-judo throw-armbar. But none of that really matters.
She has cemented her place in history as the first female UFC champion and those six defenses made her one of the best women to ever compete in MMA. Then she completely transcended the sport into Hollywood. Rousey most recently filmed a cameo for the television show “Blindspot.”
However, the reason she needs to retire is this: her new goal of being a mother. She has been dating fellow UFC fighter, Travis “Hapa” Browne for some time and said publicly that she intends to “have his babies.” The couple recently confirmed their engagement at the time of this writing.
1. "The World Most Dangerous Man" Ken Shamrock
If there is one person that proves that evaluation of the brain in MMA can always be improved and should be done both after a fight and before accepting another, it is Ken Shamrock.
The man has nothing left to prove. Shamrock is a UFC Hall of Fame member, former UFC champion, and a general pioneer from the 1990s. He has always been a really intense human being with an even more intense drive when it comes to competing in the fight world, but he simply no longer has the ability.
Although one TKO loss was due to a leg injury, Shamrock only garnered four victories since Pride FC 10 in 2000. Another loss was based on scoring against Don "The Predator" Frye. The others were all defeats by knockout/TKO or by corner stoppage. Overall, Shamrock has lost 12 of 16 bouts beginning with Pride 10 (11 of the 16 ended in the first round with five being consecutive between 2005-2008.)
Yet, after a lossing effort against Kimbo Slice at Bellator 138, Shamrock embarked on a journey to prove that he could still keep fighting.
The WWF/WWE alumnus told SI.com in October of 2015, "“There is some unfinished business for me to clean up. “I’m going to get back in the ring and fight again...I definitely want to jump back in and have another fight,” said Shamrock. “There’s no question. I felt really good in my last fight. I felt like I was stronger than him. I dominated the fight and did everything I wanted to do–but I made a mistake."
What do you think?
He's currently 53 years of age and most recently fought Royce Gracie at Bellator 149 in a nostalgia-based trilogy fight. After contesting that the TKO loss was due to a kick below the belt, Shamrock also later tested positive for a bad stoppage.
After so many losses by KO/TKO, one from injury (a sign of his age) and corner stoppage (like throwing in the towel, this is the "mercy rule" of MMA,) someone please make him stop!