When Quinton "Rampage" Jackson lost to Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight championship, he was a hungry contender.
When he lost to Ryan Bader at UFC 144, Jackson officially became a part of the highest order of "old guard" ranks in the UFC.
The "old guard" consists of fighters who have earned their living, and even fortunes, off of their reputations as elite MMA fighters, but no longer possess the ability to work upwards towards further glory.
Sure, they still win big fights, but the "old guard" is a generation of fighters who no longer have to sacrifice to satisfy their ends.
They are actually a noble and wise warrior class who's gate-keeping responsibilities protect the upper treasures of MMA glory from uninspired hot-shots.
Jackson became a star in Japan and then came to the UFC to actualize his true potential and glory.
He won the UFC light heavyweight championship by defeating UFC's most prominent champion in Chuck Liddell, and then Jackson solidified his legacy by defending his championship and unifying it against two-division PRIDE champion and legend Dan Henderson.
Consistency and motivation became an issue for Jackson after the Henderson victory, but after earning another title shot and coming up short, Jackson serves to be a barometer against a new wave of hungry tough guys.
Consistency and motivation were almost always a question mark with BJ Penn, but "The Prodigy" is so naturally gifted and talented that he still crafted a championship legacy of victory.
He was just the second man to become world champion in two separate weight classes and he defended the UFC lightweight championship a record three times.
At both lightweight and welterweight, Penn is still a top fighter. Whether he could physically wrest the title from newer generations, however, has become a dubious consideration.
Rich Franklin's years of success and hard work paid off when he defeated Evan Tanner to become the UFC middleweight champion in 2005.
He would successfully defend his title two times before running into the unstoppable Anderson Silva.
After losing, Franklin's remained resolute, and fought back to a title fight against the man who took the championship from him.
Silva reigned supreme again, and Franklin has since been relegated to putting on exciting shows in interesting matchups for the fans.
Matt Hughes was arguably the most dominant divisional champ before the eras of Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva began.
He had two separate title reigns, each consisting of multiple title defenses.
Champions from Canada, America, Brazil and Japan all fell before him.
He has been superseded by reigning champion Georges St. Pierre, but his natural competitive instincts continue to fire.
37-year-old Tito Ortiz was the UFC light heavyweight champion from 2000-2002. During that time, he defended his title a record-breaking five times.
That UFC record has since been broken, but the divisional record stands and it remains one of the most distinguished streaks in MMA history.
In recent years, Ortiz has served as a reliable, high-level and high-profile competitor despite difficulty in claiming victory.