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UFC's Future Prospects Of The Old Guard

UFC's Future Prospects Of The Old Guard

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Published by airmenwes37
Watch The Greatest UFC Knockouts Of All Times!
Watch The Greatest UFC Knockouts Of All Times!

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Published by: airmenwes37 on Jan 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 ==== ====Watch The Greatest UFC Knockouts Of All Times!www.BZ9.com/UFCKnockouts ==== ====When should a fighter call it a day? It's a question that has no definitive answer. There is noofficial retirement age, no set of guidelines in place, and so each competitor must arrive at theirown decision when they feel the time is right. For some it will become apparent after a losing streak. Some may give in to the pleas of familyand friends after receiving one too many knockouts and others will only finally call it a day as theaches, pains and injuries of a lifetime of combat take their toll. Of course most mixed martial artists are born fighters with an in-built desire to compete that is noteasily switched off. It's in their nature to battle on against the odds, and so many continue to fightlong after the writing is on the wall. In the first of a two part article we look at some of the most dominant champions and formerchampions of the UFC's old guard and assess who still has something to offer, and who would bewise to hang up their gloves and enjoy their retirement. --- Randy Couture (16-10) - Age: 46 - 3 Time Heavyweight Champion / 2 Time light heavyweightChampion The Quintessential veteran competitor, Randy Couture has redefined the age at which MMAfighters are considered able to compete at the highest level. Couture didn't start his MMA career until the age of 34, emerging as the winner of UFC 13'sheavyweight tournament in only his second fight. He lost the heavyweight title last year at the ageof 45, and won 'Fight Of The Night' for his last performance against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira inSeptember. Despite losing in his last two outings, Couture still appears to be in remarkable physical conditionfor his age, and his three round war with Nogueira proved he still has the stamina and skills tocompete against the best in the business. How long his body can hold out no one can say for sure.It is, he acknowledges himself, a case of taking it one fight at a time. Couture recently signed a new 6 fight deal spread over 28 months - he will be 48 if he sees itthrough until the end. Verdict: If his time in the octagon has taught us anything, it's that it's never wise to count out 'TheNatural'. As one of the sports star names Couture is likely to continue to face the top names the
UFC has to offer and, if reverts back to the skills that have brought him the most success in thepast, namely his wrestling and dirty boxing skills, he can still pose a threat to whoever he faces. --- Mark Coleman (16-9) - Age: 44 - 1st Heavyweight Champion / 2 time Heavyweight TournamentChampion (UFC 10, UFC 11) The godfather of ground and pound Mark Coleman is the second oldest fighter currently on theUFC's books. Whilst his physique is still impressive at 44 years of age, time and injuries haveclearly taken a toll on one of the UFC's early stars. His two fights in the octagon since returning after a 10 year absence have certainly showncourage but there is no disguising the slowed movement and lack of stamina that have becomefeatures of the former champions game. There is also an uncomfortable air of desperation whenhe fights that no doubt stems from the knowledge that one more loss on his record could spell theend of his career. The news that he has torn his ACL again, forcing him to cancel his upcoming fight with Tito Ortiz isa major set back for the former olympic wrestler who has been prone to injury in the past andagain casts doubt over his long term future in the UFC. Verdict: A champion back in the days when the sport was far less lucrative, Coleman is clearlyhoping to reap the rewards as the sport now flourishes. Time is against him however and thoughhis heart and determination can't be questioned, Coleman's career appears to be on borrowedtime. His victory at UFC 100 may prove to be a fitting last hurrah for a fighter who will have apermanent place in the UFC record books. --- Chuck Liddell (21-7) - Age: 39 - 5 time Light Heavyweight champion As we discussed last week in an article about the UFC's greatest ever knockout specialists, ChuckLiddell knows more than a thing or two about sending his opponents to sleep. Unfortunately for theformer Light Heavyweight champ in his recent fights he's become better known for taking a nap onthe canvas himself. Like Randy Couture, Liddell has been with the UFC since the early fights of his mixed martial artscareer and has become one of the most successful fighters in the history of the sport. Noteveryone is fortunate enough to have Couture's age-defying genetics however, and Liddell'sreputation for partying as hard as he fights was inevitably going to take it's toll. As 'The Iceman's' reactions have slowed, so have his number of winning trips to the octagon. Inhis past five fights he holds only one victory (against another ageing warrior, Wanderlei Silva)having won 15 out of his previous 17 UFC fights. In his defense those losses have come at the hands of quality opposition such as Quinton'Rampage' Jackson, Rashad Evans and Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua. Despite this it is evident to most
fans that Liddell is not the fighter he once was, and even long time friend Dana White haswitnessed the decline first hand has used his influence to put pressure on the star to hang up hisgloves after his last fight. Liddell himself has indicated that he may not be ready to retire just yet, and after an extendedhiatus that includes a stint on 'Dancing With The Stars' it seems likely that he will return to theoctagon. Verdict: With slowed reactions and a weakened chin Liddell's days at the top level would appear tobe all but over, though his knockout power is still a threat. Whilst retirement would be a wisechoice for his future health, it is unlikely that this natural born fighter will be ready to call time onhis career just yet and a money spinning showdown with Kimbo Slice may emerge sometime in2010 - and that's a fight Liddell can win. --- Anderson Silva (25-4) - Age: 35 - 6 Time Middleweight Champion There is no question that Anderson Silva is one of the pound for pound greats in Mixed MartialArts. his record in the UFC is second-to-none having won all 10 of his fights to date in theorganization. Not only that but at times he appears to make experienced, battle-hardened fighterslook like white belted youngsters being humbled on their first day at the dojo. As well as being adangerous striker Silva also has excellent movement and defensive skill which has ensured thathe has emerged largely unscathed from his battles in the octagon thus far which only benefits thelongevity of his career. At this stage the biggest threat to Anderson Silva's continued success is himself. Last year heannounced his desire to retire saying "I already gave my all. I don't need to prove anything foranyone and within one year I'll put my gloves aside." Though other fighters in his weight class may have breathed a sigh of relief at his comment, thenews was met with wide-spread disappointment that the sport may be deprived of one of it'sgreatest talents seemingly still in the prime of his career. All may not be lost however as a new quote from the fighter last week suggests that he is nowhaving second thoughts about retiring, and having recently expressed interest in again stepping upto light heavyweight and even heavyweight, the chances of seeing Silva compete at the highestlevel beyond the remaining three fights on his contract look increasingly promising. Verdict: Silva is a perfect example of the phrase "improving with age". There are many challengesstill out their for him and retirement at this stage would be a waste of one of the sports greatesttalents. Of all the fighters on this list, Silva is unquestionably the most likely to find continuedsuccess should he choose to fight on. --- Matt Hughes (44-7) - Age:35 - 8 Time Welterweight Champion 

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