Yesterday we told you about three UFC fighters who we felt it might be time to call it a career, and today we’re sharing three more who we don’t want to see take any more damage inside the octagon. Let us know if you agree with our list.
3. Vitor Belfort
TRT-era Belfort was one of the funnest fighters to watch. He had epic wins over the likes of Rich Franklin, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson. And who can ever forget that spinning wheel kick knockout of Luke Rockhold at UFC on FX 8 in May 2013? The one-time UFC light heavyweight champ even became a two-time middleweight title challenger and fought Jon Jones for the 205-pound title late in his career. But post-TRT Belfort is a different story. The dad bod isn’t doing it for the fans anymore and now 39-years-old, Belfort has been knocked out in three of his last four fights. “The Phenom” has been knocked out six times in his MMA career and if it happens again when he faces that young beast known as Kelvin Gastelum on March 11 at UFC Fight Night 106, it really needs to be Belfort’s final curtain call.
2. Andrei Arlovski
Arlovski is a former UFC heavyweight champion now on his second stint inside the octagon. After getting knocked out by Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction back in January 2009, “The Pit Bull” lost three more fights in a row under the Strikeforce banner and it looked like back then Andrei was done. His boxing coach at the time was even calling for it. But Andrei defied the odds and made a career resurgence of epic proportions racking up quality wins on the regional circuit and for World Series of Fighting until he finally got the call back to the UFC that no one saw coming except for Andrei. Now under the tutelage of Coach Greg Jackson Andrei put together impressive wins over Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Travis Browne, and most recently, Frank Mir. However, things turned South again for Arlovski starting with a knockout loss to Stipe Miocic in January of last year. Following that he was TKO’d by Alistair Overeem in May, submitted by Josh Barnett in September, and knocked out by Francis Ngannou last month in 92-seconds. Andrei now has 10 knockout losses on his record. Brain trauma is a real thing folks, and we don’t want to see Andrei take any more damage.
1. BJ Penn
“The Prodigy” has been a fan favorite for so many years. He’s a former two-division champion holding titles in both the UFC’s lightweight and welterweight divisions. Penn has had many epic battles inside the octagon with memorable victories against Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver, Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian, Diego Sanchez and more. He had two hard-fought battles against Frankie Edgar for the lightweight title in April and August of 2010 but came up short on both accounts. Penn’s last octagon win saw him return to welterweight with a 21-second knockout of Matt Hughes in a rematch in November 2010. Following that he fought to a draw with Jon Fitch and lost a decision to Nick Diaz in 2011. Penn had his last welterweight fight against Rory MacDonald in 2012 but lost that decision as well. After 18 months on the sidelines Penn returned, but this time at featherweight and was knocked out by former foe Frankie Edgar. Following that Penn went on hiatus and for all intents and purposes had retired. A change in training camps gave the 38-year-old Hawaiian enough confidence to give it another try in January of this year but he was knocked out by Yair Rodriguez in the second round. Having lost his last four fights in a row, having been through so many wars, and not having a win in nearly seven years, we would love to see the legend know when enough is enough.