Getting punched in the face for a living is not for everyone. While many people can't comprehend what it is like to repeatedly put your body through tremendous physical burden, for some of the top stars in mixed martial arts, it is all that they have ever known.
Fighters climbing the ladder see their love of the sport reinforced. However, it is common to see pugilists lose that feeling for the sport once their best days are behind them.
Here is a look at eight professional fighters who are technically active, but appear to have lost their enthusiasm for MMA.
Multi-divisional champion B.J. Penn revitalized his career in late 2010 when he knocked out Matt Hughes in only 21 seconds. However, that momentum didn't last very long, as "The Prodigy" was the victim of a nasty beating in his next three fights.
Following pummelings at the hands of Jon Fitch, Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald, post-fight interviews with "The Prodigy" saw the Hawaiian discuss retirement.
Penn hasn't competed since December, nor does he have a fight currently scheduled. There was rumor that a return to lightweight was in the cards, although doubt has been cast upon that news by those close to Hilo's favorite son.
The bad boy of MMA may have competed in the sport for the final time. After a failed bid to capture the UFC welterweight championship from rival Georges St-Pierre, Nick Diaz announced his retirement from active competition.
While some would believe that Diaz is actually done fighting, it's hard to believe that the Stockton native has hung up his gloves for good. After all, a decision loss to Carlos Condit prompted the same short-lived announcement in early 2012.
Currently, Diaz is occupying himself by wearing a pair of promoter's shoes with the startup fight league WAR MMA. Despite finding moderate success with his first event, Diaz appears to be non-committal as to whether or not the organization will move forward.
With wins over Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin and Brandon Vera, light heavyweight Keith Jardine undoubtedly found the kind of success that most fighters would kill for. However, after winning only two of his last 10 matchups, the UFC and Strikeforce veteran has tremendous doubts about his future.
In an interview with MMA Fight Corner, Jardine referred to himself as being "semi-retired." Simply put, the Dean of Mean isn't ready to officially call it quits, although he realizes that his recent showings have been disastrous.
Jardine does have the benefit of a second career to fall back on. Acting since 2008, Jardine has found himself with screen time in major motion pictures and TV shows alike. In February, he guest-starred in an episode of "Hawaii Five-O."
In late 2011, bantamweight standout Miguel Torres was unceremoniously released from the UFC due to a controversial joke made on Twitter. Torres was interviewed by Matthew Roth shortly after the firing to discuss his future. The Indiana native talked about his lack of desire to compete in the sport outside of the UFC.
When I got released I was extremely remorseful. I was very apologetic because I didn't know what I was going to do. Since I was a kid my main goal was to fight in the UFC and I finally got here and got released for some comments that I made. I didn't know what I was going to do. I didn't consider fighting on any other organization. I didn't consider going anywhere else. In my mind if I wasn't fighting for the UFC I wasn't fighting for anyone else. I would have ended up retiring and teaching at my gym and running my business.
Torres was once again released from the UFC following a loss to Michael McDonald last April. Although he competed shortly after under the World Series of Fighting banner, Angel came up short in his clash with rising star Marlon Moraes.
Since Torres lost five of his last eight bouts, it is unlikely that a UFC return is in the immediate future of the bantamweight. Based on his quotes about not wanting to compete outside of the Octagon, one can deduce that Torres has lost that loving feeling for MMA and will settle for a life of teaching at his gym.
At UFC 140, light heavyweight Krzysztof Soszynski was brutally knocked out by opponent Igor Pokrajac in only 35 seconds. After the matchup, Soszynski was seen telling those close to him that he would not be competing anymore.
Just like in professional wrestling, retirements in MMA are subject to change.
Soszynski was interviewed by Karyn Bryant last summer and "The Polish Experiment" has confirmed that he will fight one more time before calling it a career. However, the Ultimate Fighter alum seems convinced that his body has decided that MMA is no longer in the cards.
After he hangs up the gloves for good, expect to see Soszynski on your TV screen. The Polish Canadian has done some Hollywood stunt work and recently co-starred in the MMA-themed comedy "Here Comes The Boom" alongside Kevin James and Bas Rutten.
In March of 2013, the always colorful Dan Hardy was surprisingly pulled out of a UFC on Fox 7 clash against Matt Brown. Injury was not the culprit that forced the popular Brit from his hotly anticipated clash, but instead a heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome.
Hardy was interviewed by Fight HUB TV earlier this Spring, where he talked about his condition and MMA future. Although the one-time title challenger would love to be thrilling fans with his performances inside the Octagon, it appears that "The Outlaw" would walk away from MMA before undergoing a procedure to correct the affliction.
"I just don't want somebody going in there and messing with my heart" said Hardy. "It's just not logical. I don't get paid enough and it just don't seem worth it."
In the attached interview, Hardy seems not only at peace about the potential lack of MMA in his future, but actually happy about it.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. That appears to be exactly what Hardy is trying to do.
There is just something about the recent losing streak of Frankie Edgar that has the former lightweight champion looking emotionally deflated.
In his post-fight interview at UFC 156, Edgar looked as if he wanted to walk away from the sport out of pure frustration. Then again, after he dropped three consecutive decisions, you can't blame the guy.
After competing in seven title fights since 2010, Frankie is staring at a dramatic change of pace in his next fight. Taking on unranked featherweight Charles Oliveira, "The Answer" is looking to get back on track at UFC 162.
At age 31, Edgar is still one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet and has a lot left in the tank. It just looks like he needs to be reminded of that.
The UFC departure of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was a long time coming. Between perceived problems with his pay, the UFC refusing one of his major sponsors and a lack of opponents who are willing to stand and exchange punches, Jackson hasn't been happy inside the Octagon in a long time.
In 2009, Jackson notoriously pulled out of a planned UFC 107 clash with Rashad Evans in order to film "The A Team." However, the charismatic stud currently gets to show off his acting chops in TNA Wrestling.
Jackson is currently working for both TNA and Bellator Fighting Championships as part of a contract between him and both organizations. With Bellator, Rampage will fight as a heavyweight in a division that has zero ranked fighters and an equal number of those with name value.