...OH, ONE MORE THING - PLEASE BOOKMARK US & VISIT DAILY!
By: Brad Walker, MMATorch Columnist
When you look at the fighters who have left the world of MMA, either due to selective retirement, or injury, you can't help but think that some of them could have gone out in a better way – with a win. I have compiled a list of five legends who have retired from MMA following a loss, that deserve one more win in their career. Some people may not agree with this list, but that's why you always remind me who I forgot over time, or who deserved to be on this list instead of the people listed. The selections are based on personal belief as well as what they meant to the sport as a whole. Let's get started with the people who should come back, but only if they can get a win.
5. Mark "The Hammer" Coleman
Last fight: vs. Randy Couture (Loss) UFC 109
We all know and accept Coleman as one of the most established legends in mixed martial arts, and he was one of the originals as well. He won two UFC tournaments (10 and 11) as well as the UFC Heavyweight Championship – he also went into Pride and won their open weight grand prix in 2000. He has beaten some of the best fighters on the planet, but he has also fallen victim to several fighters. Technically I don't believe his retirement has been made official, but odds are he will never step into a cage again. If he were to get one more shot against even a mid-level mediocre light heavyweight and take home a win it would ice the cake that was his career – and make the finish that much sweeter.
My pick for one more fight; Forrest Griffin.
4. Brock Lesnar
Last fight: vs. Alistair Overeem (Loss) UFC 141
Ok, so this pick might irk some people, but then again some others may understand it. Originally Lesnar was not on my list – but then Overeem failed his random drug test so terribly that Nate Marquardt was actually overheard laughing. Brock is a super-athlete, he possesses power and speed to go with his natural abilities in wrestling that he honed over the years. A heavyweight champion in both UFC and NCAA division 1 wrestling, there are few things that he would be unable to achieve if he was given the proper chance to become a full-fledged mixed martial artist. He went out on a two fight losing streak, but I would love to see him have one more war inside the Octagon, and come away with a victory.
My pick for one more fight: Frank Mir, to complete the trilogy.
3. Randy "The Natural" Couture
Last fight: vs. Lyoto Machida (Loss) UFC 129
Randy is the legend to end all legends in the world of mixed martial arts, and no one can possibly deny that. He defeated a number of other legends, and in his late 40's came back to re-capture the Heavyweight Championship from a much younger and larger Tim Sylvia. He managed to show James Toney that he was worthless to the sport, and remained positive even going into his retirement fight with Machida. Randy set a standard for the ground and pound game plan, and utilized it as well as if not better than anyone else ever has. Sadly, his retirement was plagued by a highlight reel knockout for his opponent who showed off some Karate Kid maneuvers to finish his career.
My pick for one more fight: Tito Ortiz, just to see it happen again.
2. Mirko "Cro-Cop" Filpovic
Last fight: Roy Nelson (loss) UFC 137
Mirko entered the MMA world as a K-1 champion, with perhaps the most dangerous legs in the history of the sport. He quite enjoyed kicking the heads off of his opponents, but once that stopped working every time, he worked to round out his game and became an MMA fighter. The transition to Pride from K-1 had some kinks in it for Mirko, but he always managed to overcome the weakness within. He quickly became a top contender and fought some of the best in the world, and even managed to defeat most of them. His last days in UFC were extremely underwhelming as he seemed to have passed his prime in a big way, but that certainly does not snuff out the legendary status of his striking game.
My pick for one more fight: Gabriel Gonzaga, for some payback.
1. Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell
Last fight: vs. Rich Franklin (Loss) at UFC 116
The Iceman, at his peak, was without a doubt the most famous man in mixed martial arts, and even managed to make his way into popular culture. His decline however, was fast and brutal, and saw him exit the sport badly damaged and in need of a new line of work. I have no doubt in my mind he could still stand and bang with some of the middle of the pack fighters at 205, but his time has passed. Chuck epitomized the flashy knockout during his run with the title, but quickly found himself on the other side of the stick shortly thereafter. He's a legend who has made his mark on the game in a way that few others ever will, but one more fight would be worth the win, wouldn't it?
My pick for one more fight; Tito Ortiz, since the beef never got settled.
Thanks for reading, follow me on twitter @BradMMATorch
Let me know your thoughts and opinions, or even who you would add to the list!
[Randy Couture art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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