Two veteran fighters announced their retirement from competition today, with each one representing two very different perspectives in the MMA world.
Announcing his retirement via a press release, old school UFC competitor Din Thomas laid out a poignant case for the realistic ceiling of fighters from his era. Said Thomas:
UFC 168, Weidman vs Silva, could have driven the last nail in the coffin of any idea that anybody from my era could still be champion. Anderson Silva failed to re-claim his title after suffering the 2 worse losses of his career to the undefeated, Chris Weidman. Whether Silva manages to ever return to the Octagon or not, this fight was career ending. Josh Barnett, our last heavyweight hopeful was unsuccessful at moving closer to owning the UFC heavyweight title that he once owned. His plans were foiled by Travis Browne. This trend is not necessarily a testament of the evolution of the new UFC athlete, but provides further evidence that my colleagues from the Golden Age of MMA are now of the “Olden Age” of MMA.
Thomas’ resume includes a slick submission win over a then-rising Jens Pulver, and he was the co-main event of UFC 32, where he lost via TKO to the up-and-coming BJ Penn.
Also hanging up the gloves today was Brent Weedman, who’s been a staple of Bellator’s tournaments since April, 2010. Weedman fought in multiple tournaments, but never quite managed to win one. MMAJunkie posted a message from Weedman’s management:
We are sad to announce that @BellatorMMA standout @brent_weedman is retiring from MMA. Brent called us over the holidays to let us know this was a hard decision for him and he is very grateful for all the opportunities he has had along the way. With the latest addition to his family, Brent wants to simply focus on being a dad, husband and his post fight career. It has been a pleasure working with Brent and watching him climb the ranks in Bellator. We look forward to what the future holds for Brent and his family and wish them all the best! You will always have a home at SP if you decide to come back Brent! Cheers!
MMA is a tough sport, and it takes a smart fighter to know when they’re done. Props to Thomas and Weedman for their contributions.