Mir is currently on a three-fight losing streak and was recently booked for a bout with Dutch finisher Alistair Overeem. With the significant possibility of a fourth consecutive defeat on the horizon (and another knockout no less) Mir may be forced to the sidelines by his long-time bosses or face release. He’s a smart, savvy businessman and is no doubt realistic about his career. That being said, even Mir may want to walk away from the cage and focus on other opportunities instead of being away from his family and risking further physical damage. Thinking about the impact Le could have had on MMA if his focus had been there from an earlier age always produces a wistful sigh. He’s supremely skilled when it comes to striking and has underrated wrestling most people overlook based on his brilliant stand-up. Unfortunately, the reality is he only has eleven professional fights despite being older than 98% of the UFC roster. Recent health issues have slowed his career, plus Le’s primary focus has been on making films for the past few years. He probably has one more match-up in him – MAYBE two – but that’s it. Silva has said he wants to finish out a ten-fight deal he signed earlier this year but his mindset may dramatically change if he falls to Chris Weidman for a second straight time when the two tussle at UFC 168. While the initial defeat could in part be chalked up to Silva’s showboating, it’s foolish to believe Weidman doesn’t have the talent to come away with another win. With two straight losses and dwindling options outside of 1-2 “superfights”, there’s not much else for Silva to do and certainly no reason for him to tarnish his record beyond recognition. This might be a cheat of sorts since Penn is fresh off a stint as a semi-retired fighter loving life at home. Hopefully, Penn’s passion has been reignited after going 0-2-1 in his last three Octagon appearances and he’ll come out sharp when he squares off against Frankie Edgar as a featherweight. However, it’s much more likely Penn will despise the cut down based on his past opposition to intense dieting. After being soured to such an extent, anything other than complete domination against Edgar is going to hurt Penn psychologically. He might give it one more go if he loses to Edgar for a third time but chances are such a situation would actually result in Penn officially riding off into the Hawaiian sunset. Henderson seems to genuinely enjoy the grind of fighting and has found a way to balance his lifestyle with the process. Of course, there’s no guarantee how long his body will hold up at his age after a career full of all-out wars. He’s had some minor injury issues as of late and nagging afflictions often turn into serious ones. Also, his use of TRT indicates nature is telling him it’s time to move on. With hard-fought losses to Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida in the rear-view mirror, Henderson almost HAS to beat Vitor Belfort in November to ensure his spot on the UFC roster and thereby the continuation of his career. Sure, he might fight once or twice in Bellator like Tito Ortiz and Quinton Jackson, but other than that the days are definitely numbered in terms of Henderson’s run in the ring.
This weekend MMA legend
Megumi Fujii decided to hang up her gloves for good, exiting the sport as one of the most revered female competitors in history. While Fujii never had a chance to ply her trade inside the Octagon, her retirement serves as a reminder all Mixed Martial Artists have to eventually move on from careers in the cage. In fact, chances are good a few first-ballot UFC Hall of Fame fighters will follow suit in the next fourteen months. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)