How many fighters can you think of, off the top of your head, that remained in the game a little too long for their own good?
Quite a few, I’m sure.
Professional fighting, like most sports, is a hard career to simply walk away from. It’s not like retiring from an office job, where you spend most of your days counting down the time before you can escape that depressing cubicle and insufferable workload. In the sport of MMA, when you retire, it’s usually because you just can’t hang with the new generation of fighters. It’s a hard pill to swallow – knowing, and admitting, that you aren’t the man you used to be. That you can’t compete anymore. That you’ll never hear the roar of the crowd again.
For some star fighters who are reaching the end of the road, they refuse to burn out brightly; instead they chose to fizzle and fade, taking a few more fights than they should… perhaps taking a few more knock-outs than they should… until they finally come to the realization that it’s over.
This past Saturday night via Facebook, Quinn Mulhern retired from the sport of mixed martial arts. But unlike most fighters who have realized that they might not have what it takes to continue their climb to the championship, Mulhern isn’t going to take a few more fights and possibly tarnish his career. He isn’t going to allow his heart to deny what his brain is telling him. He’s going to burn out brightly, and I feel honored to report on it today:
Hey guys. First, just let me express how grateful I am for the love and support of a whole community of people. Especially those folks who have been with me from the beginning of my MMA career. I love you all, thank you.
The dust hasn’t settled exactly so I wouldn’t normally do this now…but it feels like it’s the right time: I am retiring from MMA.
This camp was as perfect as they come. Everything fell into place, mentally, physically…my weight cut was a success. I got to a place of mental focus where I have never been before. But when I got in the cage I just didn’t have it. It wasn’t nerves, I didn’t freeze…I just didn’t have the physical gifts or skill the win. Bottom line is that I could put in years of continued work but I won’t be competitive at this level. Perhaps I’d get quite a bit better, but I think if rather spend that time on something new. I feel this in my bones.
So this is not a tantrum of self-pity. In fact, I feel very clear and good about this decision. I’m so grateful to have done what I’ve done. I’ve gotten to travel all over the world and to fight professionally over twenty times. But this is it.
Now what to do next is the question. I’ll leave that alone for a while. But I’m hopeful and excited for the next step.
The phrase that was the theme of my training camp was “All in due time.” I think that phrase is quite fitting, even now.
Tags: mma, MMA NEWS, quinn mulhern, ufc, ufc news