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Reality Check: Retirement

It’s been an interesting couple days in the world of Mixed Martial Art’s as it pertains to the status of some of the sports better known stars. With the word “retirement” being tossed around and  Quinton Jackson dropping the bombshell “I’m done fighting” yesterday, what better time to take inventory of who’s in and who’s out.

Roger Huerta: It was earlier this year when Huerta and his management made it clear that they had not intentions on signing a contract renewal that would have locked the young superstar into the UFC for an additional 5 fights. At the time it appeared Huerta would join an ever growing list of fighters who wanted to try their hand at acting. Huerta appeared poised to walk away from the sport as he was preparing to enter his prime.

It appears after back to back losses, Huerta is having a change of heart.

“Hopefully we get something going with that, but I’m not going to prioritize (acting) now. I’ll still prioritize fighting. If the UFC wants me back, I’d be willing to go back.” Huerta told Sherdog’s Loretta Hunt.

It is this writers opinion that there were a few circumstances that led to Huerta’s January decision.
A quick look at the lightweights fight record shows 5 fights in 2007, a heavy load for anyone. If he only committed to 6 week training camps, Huerta would have been on a diet for 30 weeks that year, not to mention finishing college in that time, as well as being the UFC’s ambassador to all things Mexico.

Before we all sit behind our keyboards and imagine that as some type of perfect situation, lets consider the 5 fights the year before that, and the 10 fights in the previous twelve months to that.
Fighters want to fight, and we as fans appreciate that, however one can only imagine the actual work that goes into preparing to step into a cage and be serious about it.

Furthermore I’m not going to speculate about Huerta’s money, on paper it’s not quite impressive given the work load. But we must keep in mind the UFC has always advised they take care of their fighters, and all things financial are not public record.

I think this whole situation was a simple case of burnout with a side order of leverage. But for the purpose of this article, I’m going to simply come to the conclusion that I believe Huerta thought he was going to pursue acting when he said it. The subsequent time off has given the young fighter time to refocus and decide what is important to him. The UFC tossing him into the deep end of the talent pool has taken any play for leverage away, and is possibly responsible for “El Matadors” new found focus.

Frank Trigg: Recent reports indicated that Dana White had expressed that he felt the welterweight was done, and would not get another fight in the UFC. Trigg responded to the news by saying “If the UFC cuts me, I’m done fighting.”

Controversy followed which has become very normal for Trigg, with many expressing their support for the fighter, while others applauded the apparent decision by the UFC.

My feelings about Frank Trigg are unimportant , but I can say that I understand his statement in regards to his career path. He doesn’t want to take a step backwards and would rather step away than do so. He is a competitor on a very high level, has fought the best that 170 has to offer, and has paid his dues to “the game.”

I must say I was pleasantly surprised that it appears the UFC has decided to give Trigg another fight. While he may not be a top 3 welterweight in the UFC, Trigg is always entertaining and comes to fight. I have always wished the UFC would make an effort to ( and honestly they have improved in this area greatly over the last year) educate fans about the sport. Not every fighter will be a champion, not every fighter will fight for a title. But fighters who entertain, and leave it all in the cage are a commodity and need to be treated as such. I for one will take an exciting undercard fight over a lackluster title fight any day of the week.

Quinton Jackson: On the surface, Wow what a bombshell. If it wasn’t for some bizarre behavior in the past I would say he doesn’t even believe he has retired.

Let me be clear when I say, I believe Rampage believes he is done fighting. Or at least he believed it when he typed it.

Rampage’s blog covered many grievances that he has had with the UFC. Ranging from his fight schedule, to Dana White’s subsequent response to his film career.

Is Rampage justified to be upset? Sure. Should Dana White handle things differently when it comes to his public opinions? Maybe.

All that aside, do you believe Rampage Jackson is done fighting? Of course you don’t. I’m having a really hard time caring on any level that is deeper than reading a post on TMZ. Maybe it’s true , it’s probably not, I was just entertained for 20 seconds.

Jackson is in the prime of his fighting career, Jackson likes to be paid. The UFC ( on paper) pays Rampage pretty well, and lets not underestimate that they ( the UFC) stood by Jackson’s side during a very difficult time, a move that they didn’t need to make.

I fully expect one of a few scenario’s to play out. Dana will squash this nonsense when he is good and ready. We’ll all get the obligatory You Tube video with the two of them saying they talked it out and everything is back on track. Or for the UFC to do absolutely nothing and wait for “Rampage” to work though his “issues” once again. In either case I expect it to take place right around the time that Season 10 of TUF comes to a close.

So until we get definitive proof to the contrary Aliens have placed a classified ad . Western civilization will reach its lowest point this Friday at 3:32, and Rampage Jackson is done fighting.

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