MENU
#Justin Buchholz #Duane Ludwig #Ramsey Nijem #Julian Lane #Conor McGregor #UFC 211 #Nate Diaz #Hayder Hassan #Dhiego Lima #Jon Jones #Rory MacDonald #Bellator 179 #UFC 202 #Cody Garbrandt #Joanna Jedrzejczyk


LAS VEGAS – When Tito Ortiz retires after his fight with Forrest Griffin on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden, only four fighters will remain who were active prior to Zuffa purchasing the UFC in 2001.

Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva and Matt Hughes will be the only fighters left who predate the ownership of Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White in the UFC.

And Hughes may have fought his last fight, though he has yet to announce his decision.

The men who helped build the sport are rapidly leaving the scene. In the last two years, icons such as Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture retired. Ortiz will be done Saturday. And Hughes may not be far behind.

Griffin and middleweight contender Cung Le came in the next wave of fighters who followed the Couture-Liddell-Ortiz-led era, but they, too, are looking at saying goodbye.

[Related: Watch UFC 148 live on Yahoo! Sports]

It's an inevitable part of any pro sport, but it's more dramatic in an individual sport such as fighting, where certain fighters become synonymous with a promotion.

Le, the 40-year-old former Strikeforce champion who meets Patrick Cote on Saturday, is heavily involved in the movie business and is leaning toward retirement. He's made no fight plans beyond the bout with Cote.

Griffin, who turned 33 on Sunday, is hard to read, and so getting a gauge on his intentions involves a lot of guesswork. He said at one point he "would retire from life," if he lost to Ortiz in the rubber match of their series.

But Griffin, an ex-UFC light heavyweight champion and one of the sport's most popular stars, hasn't fought in 11 months and didn't seem particularly interested when he did.

Griffin has been idle since he was stopped in the first round by Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 134 on Aug. 27 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was strangely passive in the bout and surrendered meekly.

He said he's motivated to fight Ortiz but conceded that even in the best-case scenario, his career is moving toward a conclusion.

"You know, I don't know [when I'll retire], but it's not going to be a long time," Griffin said. "I don't foresee the huge comeback. I worked out with that [Alex] Gustafsson kid. Them young guys … Man, I'm an old guy. I like what Rich Franklin's done. There are still a lot of guys I can beat, but I don't know if those guys I can beat are in the Top 10.

"I'd say I'm still one of the top 25 guys in the world at 205 pounds. The problem is, I keep fighting the top five, top 10 guys in the world at 205 pounds. It's tough."

[Kevin Iole: Chael Sonnen's mom sees a different person than the UFC heel]

Griffin indicated he's still motivated by another title run, so he'll probably fight on.

Le, though, may have a decision to make after his fight with Cote. He's learning firsthand how difficult it is to juggle a fight career with a movie career, both of which require extraordinary commitments of time and travel.

Le made his UFC debut in November when he met Wanderlei Silva at UFC 139 in San Jose, Calif. Silva put on one of his finest performances in recent times and stopped Le in the second round.

Le wasn't ready to go out like that so he's giving it another shot.

But at 40 and with a family to raise and other interests occupying his mind, he's not going to be fighting much longer.

"It's winding down and I'm taking it one fight at a time at this point," Le said. "I have a big movie career I'm working on. I still love to compete, so I'm going to do it while I can."

As fighters age, they often lose their reflexes and their bodies aren't as responsive. They can cover those faults up with experience occasionally, but the majority of times even massive amounts of experience won't matter.

That's why the turnover of the UFC is nearly 100 percent complete.

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
Marc J. Spears: Lakers land Steve Nash for draft picks
Jeff Passan: First-half awards: Early MVP picks aren't easy, bro
Is Brad Keselowski getting the respect he deserves?

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

WSOF Champ Justin Gaethje Passes on Professional Fighters League, About to Join UFC | FIGHTLAND

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Image via WSOF When it was announced last week that the World Series of Fighting would be changing its name to the Professional Fighters League and introducing a 10-month league format to mixed marti read news >>

Neil Seery retirement fight added to UFC Fight Night 113 in Glasgow

  • 15 days ago
  • 8 views

Neil Seery will enter the cage for the final time as part of July’s UFC Fight Night 113 event.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Dana White: Anderson Silva Should Probably Just Retire | MMAWeekly.com

  • 19 days ago
  • 12 views

With Anderson Silva recently threatening retirement, UFC president Dana White said that the former champ probably should just go ahead and do it. read news >>

Dana White, Forrest Griffin take CNN on tour of new UFC headquarters

  • 23 days ago
  • 50 views

While the full campus isn’t quite open just yet, UFC employees recently made the move into the company’s impressive new headquarters in Las Vegas, and CNN cameras were invited in for a sneak peek of read news >>

Could Vitor Belfort Be Headed to Bellator After Final UFC Fight? | MMAWeekly.com

  • a day ago
  • 8 views

Instead of retirement after UFC 212, might Vitor Belfort be heading for fights with Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen? read news >>

Anthony Johnson's UFC retirement didn't surprise Ryan Bader

  • 21 days ago
  • 213 views

Ryan Bader said he was far less caught off guard than most by the surprise retirement of Anthony Johnson following his UFC 210 title-fight loss to Daniel Cormier last month.Filed under: Bellator, New read news >>

Vitor Belfort Reveals UFC Retirement Plan | MMAWeekly.com

  • 24 days ago
  • 17 views

Vitor Belfort has unveiled his UFC retirement plan, putting the wraps on a career that has spanned more than two decades. read news >>

Manager shoots down Germaine de Randamie retirement rumor, says personal issues exist

  • 27 days ago
  • 17 views

UFC women’s featherweight champ Germaine de Randamie isn’t retiring, according to her manager, but she is dealing with some issues behind the scenes.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC Unfiltered: Justin Buchholz, Joe Stevenson

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

Team Alpha Male Head Coach Justin Buchholz calls in to talk about The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption, whether there's a tape of Cody KOing TJ and more. Later, Joe "Daddy" Stevenson calls in. Plus, Jim read news >>

Belfort vs. Marquardt official, 'The Phenom' confirms UFC 212 will be his final octagon appearance

  • 24 days ago
  • 28 views

At 40 years old, Vitor Belfort is preparing to make his 25th and final trip to the UFC’s famed octagon.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>