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Wednesday, 03/05/2014, 08:41 am

The Legacy of Danzig – What His Retirement Teaches Fans & Fighters

Mac Danzig Realizes Now Is The Time To Save His Mind, Body

After 13 years, 34 professional fights and almost 135 minutes of action inside the Octagon, Mac Danzig has had enough – and I don’t blame him.

Danzig announced his retirement from MMA on Tuesday night, citing many reasons.

Ultimately, Danzig’s decision will likely fall down the news columns when a championship fight is announced or someone says something about somebody, but it shouldn’t.

Of note among Danzig’s “retirement speech” that he posted online was an interesting paragraph.

“I really have been struggling the past few years with contemplating retirement,” Danzig wrote. “And with it in the back of my mind, my performance has suffered. A true fighter never wants to give it up. The will to compete dies hard. I have had to teach myself that intelligently stepping away does not equal ‘giving up.’”

As famous as Dana White’s “Do you want to be a (expletive) fighter speech?” are, Danzig’s words should be echoed by the masses.

Here’s a fighter who understands that after the battles he has put his body through, he can’t take it anymore.He wants to be able to remember what he did in the UFC down the road. He wants to be able to reflect on his victory on The Ultimate Fighter, his knockout of Joe Stevenson and his 15-minute wars with Clay Guida, Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon.

Instead of fans seeing their idols pummeled and bullied in the cage, they should be left with good memories, winning memories – and so should the fighters.

Danzig talked about his body feeling great “from the neck-down,” but did make it known that lingering and repeated concussions are affecting him, and are a reason for his stepping away now.

“As a parent, I must take into consideration how important my sustained brain function is,” Danzig wrote.

The majority of those competing in MMA have family of some kind watching them, whether it be sons, daughters, husbands, wives, moms, dads, brothers or sisters; somebody is there to root them on from home.

Danzig’s desire to play with his daughter without concern for his own well-being should cause everyone in MMA to think about where they are at in their careers.

Nobody wants to wind up in a vegetative state.

One final piece from Danzig’s speech left me intrigued, as he stated “moving forward is never an easy transition for a professional athlete.” He admitted to not having a college degree or work lined up with the UFC – like Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes did – but still plans to remain active in the sport as much as he can.

Now it’s totally understandable that the UFC cannot provide employment for every fighter that decides to step away from the business, but Danzig’s smart move of getting out now while he knows better could make him a perfect example for the promotion to use in teaching others when to make the right move out.

Mac Danzig might not be remembered in the same way as Liddell, Hughes, Georges St-Pierre or Jon Jones, but his career path should not be forgotten.

By Dana Becker | Twitter

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