Determining The Legitimacy Of A UFC Retirement

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 31: Ben Askren speaks to the media during the UFC 235 Press Conference inside the David Copperfield Theater at MGM Grand on January 31, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Why is it that when a UFC fighter retires, there is always a thought that they are probably going to return? MMA’s history is filled with fighters retiring and then returning not long after. We have previously looked at MMA fighters who have retired, only to return to fight again, sometimes multiple times. Today we will take a look into the legitimacy of retiring from the sport of MMA.

Needing More Money

Often times when a fighter would like to make more money they try to achieve that by threatening to retire. This tactic can only work if the fighter is extremely marketable and makes their respective company a significant amount of money. In the past we witnessed Ben Askren retire and then return for a significant payday. We are witnessing the same thing right now with UFC fighters such as Jorge Masvidal and Jon Jones. Although Jones and Masvidal haven’t officially retired, they have made it clear that they don’t want to fight untill they renegotiate their contracts. Jones even went to social media to “relinquish” his light heavyweight title. Although the UFC has not taken him out of the rankings or made any statement on his post.

Taking Fighters Out Of The Rankings

It’s common that when a fighter retires he or she is taken out of the rankings to make room for another up and coming star. Which raises the question, why do fighters sometimes remain in the rankings after they retire? It really is simple, the UFC simply doesn’t think that fighter is retiring. For example, Henry Cejedo was taken out of the rankings as soon as he retired. Dana White has done interviews saying he spoke in-depth with Cejudo and honestly thinks he will stay retired. Only approving the legitimacy of Cejudo’s retirement. While other fighters like Conor McGregor haven’t spoken with White about their random retirements. It is still unclear if guys like McGregor, Paul Felder, and Jon Jones are actually retired or if they are just saying that to the media. Which is the reason their names remain the UFC rankings.

Old Fighters At The End Of Their Career’s

When some fighters retire it just feels right. It feels like you have to believe them because it is perfect timing. While Georges St-Pierre has retired and returned to the cage before, his last retirement seemed like it was the real one. He came back in his last fight to win the middleweight title over Michael Bisping. Cementing him even further in the “GOAT” conversation. His latest retirement is so believable because he doesn’t have much more to gain from fighting. The same could be said for fighters such as Rashad Evans and Chuck Liddell. At this point in their lives, they don’t have much more to prove in the cage. They have already cemented their places in the hall of fame and will be forever known as MMA legends.

 

What factors do you think go into the legitimacy of fighters retirements? Let us know in the comments down below.

 

 

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