5 most mismatched UFC retirement fights

Petr Yan vs Uriah Faber Dec.2019
Petr Yan vs Uriah Faber Dec.2019
Dabeer Shah

Every UFC fighter needs to go out in style at the end of a long and tiring combat sports career. The most appropriate retirement match-up gives a competitor a guaranteed big paycheque rather than taking on a young and upcoming contender.

However, not all MMA matchmakers share this opinion. Unfortunately, numerous MMA fights have turned into one-sided beatdowns and tarnished the legacies of legendary fighters who spent their entire careers building them in the first place.

Getting beaten down far worse in your final fight than in your entire career is a tough pill to swallow. If an older fighter takes a heavy beating in their last contest, it could have grave consequences for their health; that is another reason why fighters need to know when to walk away from the sport.

Let's take a look at the five most mismatched UFC retirement fights:

#5. Matt Hughes vs. Josh Koscheck - UFC 135:

Matt Hughes is arguably the best welterweight in MMA history. Hughes is a former two-time welterweight champion and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. The American was known for his exponential wrestling skills and also possessed knockout power in his hands.

At UFC 135, Hughes was booked to fight Josh Koscheck. Koscheck had been calling out Hughes for a long time before he finally got his wish. Both Hughes and Koscheck came from wrestling backgrounds, so everyone hoped for a grappling affair.

However, when the fight started, Koscheck proved his speed and power were levels ahead of Hughes, who looked slow and stiff. As the war went on, Hughes tried to land a big knee but fell, and Koscheck took advantage of the opportunity. He landed massive ground and pound strikes on Hughes, leaving the former champion unconscious.

Watch the fight below:


#4. Johny Hendricks vs. Paulo Costa at UFC 217:

Johny Hendricks vs. Paulo Costa
Johny Hendricks vs. Paulo Costa

After the UFC tied up with USADA, Johny Hendricks' career took a downward trajectory. Hendricks was a top welterweight for most of his career who famously brought Georges St-Pierre to the closest decision of the Canadian's career. Many, including Dana White, believed Hendricks had won the fight.

'Bigg Rigg' lost four of his last five fights and failed to make weight in three. Hendricks was booked against then-undefeated Paulo Costa at UFC 217. Everyone in the MMA world was shocked by the fight's announcement, as many already knew the outcome.

The Brazilian put a beating on Hendricks. 'Bigg Rigg' was unable to cope with the volume of strikes thrown by Costa, and he ultimately succumbed to the pressure of 'The Eraser' in the second round.

Watch the finish below:

Paulo 'Borrachinha' Costa is the real deal. He just walked through Johny Hendricks. Great performance and a prospect to watch. #UFC217

#3. Randy Couture vs. Lyoto Machida at UFC 129:

Randy Couture is one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. Couture is a three-time heavyweight champion and a two-time light heavyweight champion. The Hall of Famer is tied with Stipe Miocic for the most number of wins in heavyweight title fights and became the oldest person to win a UFC title at 43.

'The Natural' was booked to fight Lyoto Machida at UFC 129 in Toronto. Couture had announced prior to the fight that the Machida fight would be his last. Machida was coming off two straight losses against Mauricio Rua and Quinton Jackson. The first round of the battle was evenly matched as both fighters exchanged strikes.

Machida found his range and timing as soon as the second round started. Couture seemed to be standing in front of 'The Dragon' with very little movement. In a move straight out of "The Karate Kid," Machida caught Couture with a perfectly timed front kick, knocking him out cold.

Real-life Karate Kid!See how @LyotoMachidaFW set up his now famous Crane Kick that finished Randy Couture at UFC 129! #UFCBelem

#2. Cain Valasquez vs. Francis Ngannou

Cain Velasquez is a former two-time heavyweight champion
Cain Velasquez is a former two-time heavyweight champion

Many regard Cain Velasquez as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. His dominant wrestling skills, lethal striking, and endless cardio made him one of the most dangerous fighters in the history of MMA.

Velasquez is a two-time heavyweight champion, and his fights have been nothing short of entertaining. However, injuries slowed and sidetracked his career. After winning against Travis Browne at UFC 200, the American suffered from constant back issues, which kept him out of the competition for nearly three years.

He returned to fight Francis Ngannou in February 2019, but Ngannou charged at him as soon as the bell rang and landed lethal blows that finished Velasquez in 20 seconds.

[email protected]_Ngannou gets it done in Arizona! #UFCPhoenix

Cain Velasquez dropped out of the USADA testing pool and announced his retirement in October 2019.

#1. Uriah Faber vs Petr Yan - UFC 245:

Petr Yan v Urijah Faber
Petr Yan v Urijah Faber

Uriah Faber will always be remembered as one of the icons of the sport. 'The California Kid' is a former WEC featherweight champion and has challenged multiple times for the UFC bantamweight championship. Faber has shared the octagon with legends and prospects, never once backing down from a fight.

Faber announced that he would fight Brad Pickett on December 17, 2016. He won the fight via unanimous decision and announced his retirement. However, following the birth of his daughter in 2019, Faber decided to make a comeback. In his return fight, he faced Ricky Simon and knocked him out inside one round. This performance earned him the 'Performance of the Night' bonus.

After the win, he was booked against Petr Yan at UFC 245. The surging Russian completely dominated Faber and left him in a pool of blood. Yan teed off on 'The California Kid' on the feet and also took him down to land some lethal shots. Faber couldn't survive the beating and was knocked out by a perfectly timed front kick to the head.

NO. MERCY. ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ @PetrYanUFC finishes Faber with a flush head kick in R3! #UFC245Get the E+ PPV โžก๏ธ #UFC245

Although Faber has not officially announced his retirement yet, it doesn't look like he will step foot in the octagon again at 42 years old.

Edited by Avinash Tewari


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