In MMA, time passes faster than a lightning strike. If you break a bone in a fight - there goes the next 9-12 months of your career. If you pull a muscle while training, you may have to sit out for half a year. Eventually, in the blink of an eye, Father Time catches up with all.
Announcing one's retirement is never easy, neither for the fighter nor for the fans. It is hard to walk away from the high of it all - the rush of being cheered on by the crowd, the glory of getting one's hands raised, and the love and affection of the fans. It's the yearning for these that often makes fighters wait too long to make the call and they end up leaving the sport where they once ruled, in a disappointing manner.
We've seen Anderson Silva do it, among others. We may see a few in 2024 as well - we're all thinking the same names. It's not every day that a fighter hangs up the gloves of a professional fighter and does not answer the itch of putting it on again. The likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov are a rare exception.
Some get to leave the octagon in an iconic manner, like 'The Korean Zombie' Chan Sung Jung or Robbie Lawler did in 2023. Others, like Glover Teixeira, barely get to savor a standing ovation despite retiring in their home country. Nevertheless, MMA, and especially the UFC, has one of the more poetic concepts of announcing an in-cage retirement, where a fighter takes their gloves off and leaves them at the center of the octagon. The out-of-cage ones, announced on social media, are not as cinematic but equally impactful.
As 2024 rolls on, this article will track all the retirements by active UFC fighters in 2024. There are some important retirements that happened outside of the UFC and we'll update those as well.
On Jan. 21, Malcolm Gordon took to Instagram to announce his retirement with one simple word, "retired."
The announcement was not a shock since it was thought he might retire after his UFC 297 loss. Gordon missed weight for his fight with Jimmy Flick, who ended up submitting him in the second round of their preliminary fight.
Gordon had lost three in a row, all finished. His last win came via a submission in February 2022. He holds a 14-8 professional record upon his retirement.
We will update this article as each retirement happens, check back often for the latest updates.