Last night at UFC 276, UFC legend Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone retired from the sport of MMA.
One of the most beloved figures in the sport, Cerrone gave fans everywhere a wealth of amazing moments to remember him by. He joins a number of veterans who have graciously called it a career in recent years.
Cerrone struggled to get good results towards the end of his career and admitted on Saturday that he no longer loved competing in the octagon. For legends like him, there is less incentive to fight as long as possible, as their legacy is secure and they have enjoyed a lot of success during their careers.
Here are five UFC legends who rode off into the sunset after a loss:
#5. Donald Cerrone - UFC 276
We will start with the most recent entry to this list. This past weekend, the legendary Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone finally called it a career after an incredible run in MMA. A win on Saturday against Jim Miller would've seen Cerrone become the winningest fighter on company record but it was not to be.
Cerrone looked very competitive in the first round but was caught with a guillotine choke in the second round. After the bout, Cerrone removed his gloves and explained to Joe Rogan that he had lost his love for the sport. He has indicated that that he will be pursuing an acting career moving forward.
Cerrone has fought some of the biggest names in the sport during his career, including Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal and Charles Oliveira. He once challenged for the UFC lightweight title in 2015. He will be remembered for his anytime, anywhere attitude and the records he still holds to this day.
#4. Michael Bisping - UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Gastelum
Michael Bisping finally winning the UFC middleweight title is one of the most iconic moments in the history of MMA. The victory marked the culmination of years of hard work and entertainment. Bisping went on to defend the title, lose it to Georges St-Pierre and then retire after a second straight loss.
A significant factor behind Bisping's retirement was a severe eye injury that was worsening towards the end of his career. His last fight came against Kelvin Gastelum, who delivered a big KO punch that caused even more damage. Bisping now has a glass eye as a result of the injury.
While it may sound sad, Bisping achieved his life's ambition prior to retiring and has been very successful since calling it a career. The former champion has a wealth of records in the middleweight division and can regularly be found these days commentating on various UFC events.
#3. Joanna Jedrzejczyk - UFC 275
Another recent retirement took place last month when arguably the greatest women's strawweight ever, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, called it a career. Jedrzejczyk first won the title back in 2015 and has the longest title reign in the division's history with five straight successful defenses.
She finally lost the belt to Rose Namajunas before moving up to flyweight and challenging for that belt. She would then move back down to strawweight and was still competing at an elite level right until the end. That ending arrived against Zhang Weili, who defeated her with a stunning spinning backfist KO.
Had Jedrzejczyk won that fight, she likely would have then challenged for the title once again. Instead, she decided to call it a day on her incredible career and focus her efforts elsewhere on the various other projects she's involved in. She will be remembered as one of the key fighters who put women's MMA on the map.
#2. Ronda Rousey - UFC 207
Ronda Rousey's popularity is the main reason the UFC now has female fighters on their roster. Rousey was a megastar in the world of MMA and her success has unsurprisingly extended into her ventures in both WWE and acting. Having started her career at a perfect 12-0, she retired after suffering two straight losses.
The first of these losses came in shocking fashion when she was upset by Holly Holm in November 2015. She attempted to win her title back the following year against Amanda Nunes but ultimately retired after being unsuccessful in her efforts.
Rousey will forever be remembered as one of the most popular and important fighters in the history of MMA. She broke down a number of doors during her incredible run in the sport and set a number of records that are unlikely to be broken any time soon.
#1. Daniel Cormier - UFC 252
Daniel Cormier is a much-loved all-time great in the sport of MMA. The popular 'DC' won both the light heavyweight and heavyweight championships during his amazing career. His brilliant run in the sport came to an end in 2020 after losing his trilogy fight against Stipe Miocic.
Cormier beat Miocic the first time the pair fought to become one of the few two-weight champions in the history of the sport. After Cormier defended the heavyweight belt against Derrick Lewis, Miocic got his revenge in the rematch, setting up a trilogy fight that was one of the biggest in the division's history.
Cormier announced prior to the fight that it would be his last and gracefully stepped away from the sport after losing the tightly-contested fight. He has successfully transitioned to an announcing role, and his legacy as one of the greatest to ever do it is safe.