5 UFC fighters who retired with a win
Like in many other sports, the athletes who participate in top-level MMA often don’t know when it’s time to call it a day. Because MMA by definition is “prize-fighting” – as in, these athletes only get paid when they fight – we’ve seen countless numbers of fighters holding on for too long, usually getting badly hurt more times than is necessary before finally hanging it up.
Sometimes though, there have been fighters who knew exactly the right time to step away from the sport – and rather than go out on their shield, they retired off the back of one final win, a win often impressive enough to make the fans wish they’d stuck around a little longer.
Here are 5 UFC fighters who retired after winning their final bout.
#1 Chris Lytle
Despite finding himself in the thick of the UFC Welterweight title picture on more than one occasion, Chris Lytle was a rarity in the post-TUF era of the promotion in that he was always only a part-time fighter. While moonlighting at the very top level of MMA, Lytle was actually a full-time firefighter with the Indianapolis Fire Department.
It was perhaps the fact that professional fighting was never his primary source of income that caused Lytle to decide to hang up his gloves in 2011 arguably before he’d really begun to decline as a fighter. After all, between June 2009 and September 2010, Lytle had been on a four-fight winning streak and was booked to fight Carlos Condit in a fight that had clear title implications at UFC 127 in February 2011.
Condit withdrew from that fight though, and in a big upset, Lytle was defeated by late replacement Brian Ebersole. Evidently, the loss of any kind of title hopes – and a wish to spend more time with his four children – forced Lytle’s hand, and so he announced that his next fight, a main event clash with Dan Hardy, would be his last inside the Octagon.
And surprisingly, despite being behind to the British fighter on the scorecards, Lytle managed to pull out one final victory by catching ‘The Outlaw’ in a tight guillotine choke in the dying seconds of the last round. To make his retirement even sweeter, Lytle received both the Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night bonuses for his performance – and walked away from the UFC with a solid record of 10-10.