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Reality Check: Retirement

It’s been an interesting couple days in the world of Mixed Martial Art’s as it pertains to the status of some of the sports better known stars. With the word “retirement” being tossed around and  Quinton Jackson dropping the bombshell “I’m done fighting” yesterday, what better time to take inventory of who’s in and who’s out.

Roger Huerta: It was earlier this year when Huerta and his management made it clear that they had not intentions on signing a contract renewal that would have locked the young superstar into the UFC for an additional 5 fights. At the time it appeared Huerta would join an ever growing list of fighters who wanted to try their hand at acting. Huerta appeared poised to walk away from the sport as he was preparing to enter his prime.

It appears after back to back losses, Huerta is having a change of heart.

“Hopefully we get something going with that, but I’m not going to prioritize (acting) now. I’ll still prioritize fighting. If the UFC wants me back, I’d be willing to go back.” Huerta told Sherdog’s Loretta Hunt.

It is this writers opinion that there were a few circumstances that led to Huerta’s January decision.
A quick look at the lightweights fight record shows 5 fights in 2007, a heavy load for anyone. If he only committed to 6 week training camps, Huerta would have been on a diet for 30 weeks that year, not to mention finishing college in that time, as well as being the UFC’s ambassador to all things Mexico.

Before we all sit behind our keyboards and imagine that as some type of perfect situation, lets consider the 5 fights the year before that, and the 10 fights in the previous twelve months to that.
Fighters want to fight, and we as fans appreciate that, however one can only imagine the actual work that goes into preparing to step into a cage and be serious about it.

Furthermore I’m not going to speculate about Huerta’s money, on paper it’s not quite impressive given the work load. But we must keep in mind the UFC has always advised they take care of their fighters, and all things financial are not public record.

I think this whole situation was a simple case of burnout with a side order of leverage. But for the purpose of this article, I’m going to simply come to the conclusion that I believe Huerta thought he was going to pursue acting when he said it. The subsequent time off has given the young fighter time to refocus and decide what is important to him. The UFC tossing him into the deep end of the talent pool has taken any play for leverage away, and is possibly responsible for “El Matadors” new found focus.

Frank Trigg: Recent reports indicated that Dana White had expressed that he felt the welterweight was done, and would not get another fight in the UFC. Trigg responded to the news by saying “If the UFC cuts me, I’m done fighting.”

Controversy followed which has become very normal for Trigg, with many expressing their support for the fighter, while others applauded the apparent decision by the UFC.

My feelings about Frank Trigg are unimportant , but I can say that I understand his statement in regards to his career path. He doesn’t want to take a step backwards and would rather step away than do so. He is a competitor on a very high level, has fought the best that 170 has to offer, and has paid his dues to “the game.”

I must say I was pleasantly surprised that it appears the UFC has decided to give Trigg another fight. While he may not be a top 3 welterweight in the UFC, Trigg is always entertaining and comes to fight. I have always wished the UFC would make an effort to ( and honestly they have improved in this area greatly over the last year) educate fans about the sport. Not every fighter will be a champion, not every fighter will fight for a title. But fighters who entertain, and leave it all in the cage are a commodity and need to be treated as such. I for one will take an exciting undercard fight over a lackluster title fight any day of the week.

Quinton Jackson: On the surface, Wow what a bombshell. If it wasn’t for some bizarre behavior in the past I would say he doesn’t even believe he has retired.

Let me be clear when I say, I believe Rampage believes he is done fighting. Or at least he believed it when he typed it.

Rampage’s blog covered many grievances that he has had with the UFC. Ranging from his fight schedule, to Dana White’s subsequent response to his film career.

Is Rampage justified to be upset? Sure. Should Dana White handle things differently when it comes to his public opinions? Maybe.

All that aside, do you believe Rampage Jackson is done fighting? Of course you don’t. I’m having a really hard time caring on any level that is deeper than reading a post on TMZ. Maybe it’s true , it’s probably not, I was just entertained for 20 seconds.

Jackson is in the prime of his fighting career, Jackson likes to be paid. The UFC ( on paper) pays Rampage pretty well, and lets not underestimate that they ( the UFC) stood by Jackson’s side during a very difficult time, a move that they didn’t need to make.

I fully expect one of a few scenario’s to play out. Dana will squash this nonsense when he is good and ready. We’ll all get the obligatory You Tube video with the two of them saying they talked it out and everything is back on track. Or for the UFC to do absolutely nothing and wait for “Rampage” to work though his “issues” once again. In either case I expect it to take place right around the time that Season 10 of TUF comes to a close.

So until we get definitive proof to the contrary Aliens have placed a classified ad . Western civilization will reach its lowest point this Friday at 3:32, and Rampage Jackson is done fighting.

15 COMMENTS
  • fanoftna33 says:

    I hope you are right about the whole Rampage situation. Honestly I expected a huge Dana White tirade to come out already about all of the issues addressed by Rampage. He really accused the UFC of pulling some shaddy stuff.
    Also that is good news on the Huerta front, if he resings. He is a pretty good fighter.

  • manny says:

    Same old Dana white pulling off sh*t, the UFc could be better without Dana.

  • Angry Mike says:

    I don’t know about Huerta, because I didn’t really follow the story back when he was talking about an acting career. With that qualification, though, I’d agree with this post across the board.

    The fighters need to be a little more careful with what they say and post on their blogs, though. It’s real easy to pop off in an interview or purge on your lap top. Ask Sean Salmon about the consequences of talking/typing first and thinking later. And all the talk about retirement is really cliche and melodramatic. The whole Brett Farve story makes the “I’m retired / not retired” plot line real boring.

  • manny says:

    Angry Mike- Most ufc fighters have been quite about what they say. But it is kinda hard to keep your mouth cliosed when your own boss is talking shit about. wouldn’t you do the same?

  • moosebaby02 says:

    By reading what rampage said I can 100% agree with him and what he is doing. I know I know they bailed him out and helped with his legal fees but what smart business man wouldnt do that for their meal ticket. If Dana and the UFC were really knights in shinning amour (I know I used that term before) where were they when Melvin Guillard was in drug trouble?????? Oh yeah he wasnt a big draw and they just let him go to rehab which is like jail anyways.
    Now as for Dana not flipping out like usual looks like Rampage might be on to something. You cant discredit the truth can you since it will come back at slap you in the face? Come on we all know Dana when he thinks (in his mind knows) when someone is lying and given his brand a bad name its “F him and his family and the dog as well, that guy is a lying piece of shit and IM GOD so you have to listen to me cause im right” All he can say is good luck to rampage and he hopes he really doses good in his acting………wasn’t this the same guy who slammed him last week about this????? This looks like some one got into Dana’s ear and told him what to say and that nothing but nice things cause he is no longer in the picture when it comes to handling Rampage and getting him back. Seriously no Rampage just KILLS tuff 10. Im still going to watch the show but what will be a great fight between the two has killed the mystique of the show except for the Kimbo thing. To me this is a great move by Rampage to shut Dana up and say I scratched you back why cant you scratch mine a bit mouth piece. God I love the UFC but Dana is killing it for me day by day

  • Angry Mike says:

    @ Manny

    Depends on the circumstances. Sometimes criticism from a boss is valid. If I screw up on the job, I expect to hear about it. Furthermore, it’s possible to have a difference of opinion with a boss (or anyone) without attacking him/her personally. When somebody resorts to insults or personal attacks, they lose credibility and most people stop listening, regardless of whether they’re the boss. Insults and personal attacks shift the focus onto the insulter’s/attacker’s maturity and judgment and away from the underlying issue, which can be valid. A boss will probably assume that the person insulting them or personally attacking them isn’t an asset and is probably a liability. I don’t know what motivated Rampage, but his history of impulsive or erratic behavior suggests that he’s acting immaturely, or certainly with poor judgment.

  • David Andrest says:

    I hope I was clear, I don’t know who’s “at fault” and honestly I don’t care.

    Rampage isn’t going anywhere. He’ll be in the cage before July 4th 2010 write it down. LOL

  • Angry Mike says:

    @Moosebaby

    You’ve got to be joking. White and UFC could’ve turned their backs on Rampage, who screwed up in a dramatic, public, and embarrassing way. Instead of giving them credit, you disparage them for not doing the same for Guillard. So once you help one person, you have to help everybody regardless of the circumstances or your’re a bad person? Can you seriously claim that you live up to that standard?

    At least til now, White hasn’t said anything nasty about Rampage’s post. Instead of giving White credit for showing some restraint (assuming he’s even heard about it or read it), you assume everything Rampage says is true and that White has nothing to say? Use a little logic here. Rampage got himself in trouble for some very irrational behavior, so shouldn’t you be just a little skeptical or at least keep an open mind? Who knows? maybe White will spout off in response to Rampage’s statements. And then everybody will disparage White for that, too.

    This is the kind of bias you’d expect from an ex-wife or soon to be ex wife. Everything is wrong and results from impure motives. Yikes.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Ok, the “ex wife” crack was gratuitous and I’ll take that one back.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Although the ex wife of which I speak really was a mean spirited wench.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    you know what Mike your right. I guess that was more of me being pissed and not clearly thinking before i type. My comparisson of the two is that White likes to throw shit like that into peoples face all the time and paints him self as the hero. Hero for one a hero for all right. He had his arm around him and it was all smiles when the cameras were out cause it was a good photo op for him and the UFC. “Boss stands by their man in his darkest moment” nothing but good PR to me. Sorry thats the way I think
    As for me beliveing what Rampage has said its Danas track record that has me on page’s side. One fighter says it well its just one fighter but two, three, four, fighters saying almost the same thing about the same man well if it walks like a duck. When is the last time did you hear anyone say one bad thing about Corker????

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Articles from both Newby AND Andrest today?!? Sweet!

  • David Andrest says:

    You gonna make it a trifecta?

  • […] but a good friend and colleague of mine beat me to it. I agree on all points in Mr. Andrest’s summary of the situation. Some guys just need a break to help them realize what they fell in love with about fighting to […]

  • David Andrest says:

    Ladies and genelmen of the jury I submit to you that I am a damn genius!!!

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