Eddie Wineland now believes he still has that desire to compete inside the Octagon.
Following a May knockout loss to Johnny Eduardo, the 30-year-old Wineland admitted it might be time to leave the sport. He suffered a broken jaw in the defeat, which was his second in three fights.
Now, after taking some time away from the sport as he recovers, Wineland (21-10-1) is ready to think about fighting again – and working his way back into title contention in the bantamweight division.
“At the time (I was considering retirement), I could walk away and be content,” said Wineland, during an interview with MMAjunkie.com Radio. “I’ve done a lot more than a lot of people will ever do. That being said, me being the competitive person that I am, I’m not sure I can walk away and be content anymore. I need to get back in there and compete.”
Wineland scored 2012 victories over Scott Jorgensen and Brad Pickett to earn a shot at then-interim champion Renan Barao. He lost to Barao via TKO in the second round, but rebounded in 2014 to finish Yves Jabouin. Then came the stunning defeat to Eduardo that changed everything.
“My immediate reaction was, ‘Screw this, it’s not worth it, I’m done and I’m over it,'” Wineland said. “A month goes by and it’s, ‘I don’t think I want to (retire).’ Another couple weeks to a month goes by and it, ‘Yeah, I’m kind of thinking about it.’
“Where I sit now, it’s that want-what-you-can’t-have feeling; when you can’t do it, but you really want to do it.”
The two recent stoppage defeats by knockout were the first of his career, as Wineland has suffered four submission losses and a previous TKO defeat in 2004 due to an injury.