5 forgotten MMA fighters you didn't know were still active

  • Washing out of the UFC doesn't always mark the end of a fighter's career. Here are 5 fighters you probably didn't realise were still active.
Scott Newman
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 24 Mar 2018, 01:53 IST

#2: Ricco Rodriguez

Former UFC champ Ricco Rodriguez is now one of MMA
Former UFC champ Ricco Rodriguez is now one of MMA's most experienced fighters

Ricco Rodriguez is arguably the UFC’s ultimate ‘what if?’ story. He won the UFC Heavyweight championship back in 2002 – three years prior to the TUF boom that saw MMA explode in popularity – but despite being a charismatic and marketable fighter, he was beaten by Tim Sylvia in his first title defence, ballooned in weight and found himself out of the UFC just two fights later.

He was given a chance at redemption in 2005 after going 8-1 on the smaller circuit, but turned down a UFC title shot against Andrei Arlovski due to the UFC’s purse offer being too small. And from there he became one of MMA’s ultimate wanderers, fighting in promotions like Elite XC and the IFL to moderate success in the late 2000’s – after battling drug and alcohol addictions that saw him appear on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab.

At the age of 40, Rodriguez remains active in MMA – his last fight came in January, a victory over former UFC and StrikeForce fighter Nandor Guelmino. The fight was his 80th professional MMA bout – making him one of the most experienced fighters in the history of the sport – and he currently holds a record of 54-25 with 1 no contest. Any chance of a UFC return is naturally long gone, but you’ve got to admire his staying power.

Published 24 Mar 2018, 00:05 IST
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