4 Fighters Who Should Retire If They Lose 1 More Time

Tim McTiernanCorrespondent IJune 11, 2014

4 Fighters Who Should Retire If They Lose 1 More Time

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    USA TODAY Sports

    You never want to see your favorite fighters retire, but there comes a time when it's clear that they need to hang up the gloves. Some fighters try to keep going and hang on too long. Others go out on their own terms and declare it's their last fight ahead of time.

    There are several fighters who have been on the brink but pulled out a huge victory to save their careers. Any one of these guys could win their next fight and get back to their winning ways.

    But, if these guys lose their next fights, and if they were to lose them badly, they might want to consider retiring before they hang on too long.

    Let's check out four fighters who should hang 'em up if they lose another fight.

Frank Mir

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    Frank Mir is the former UFC heavyweight champion and the former UFC interim heavyweight champion. He has wins over Brock Lesnar, Mirko Filipovic, Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira—the list goes on.

    Unfortunately, he also has four straight losses. Mir's last win came in December 2011 when he broke the arm of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

    In his next fight, he was knocked out in the second round by Junior dos Santos after barely making it out of the first. He followed that up with a unanimous-decision loss to Daniel Cormier—30-27 on all cards.

    His next outing saw Josh Barnett win by knockout in just under two minutes, and most recently, Alistair Overeem won a unanimous decision over Mir.

    Granted, those are four of the top fighters in the heavyweight—and now light heavyweight—division, but there's no good way to spin losing four straight fights. If it gets to five, Mir will probably have the choice to retire or be cut.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

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    Felipe Dana/Associated Press

    Minotauro Nogueira is the former UFC interim heavyweight champion and the first-ever Pride heavyweight champion. He is a legend of the sport in every sense.

    He lost the UFC interim heavyweight championship in December 2008 and has alternated wins and losses since then, until now, when he's lost two straight.

    He lost the title by knockout to Frank Mir, but then followed it up with the 2009 Fight of the Year against Randy Couture. After the fight against Couture, Nogueira was knocked out in the first round by Cain Velasquez.

    Following the Velasquez fight, Nogueira was out for a long time, having surgery on both of his knees. He returned at UFC 134, the UFC's first trip to Brazil in the modern era. Nogueira won his fight there against Brendan Schaub with a first-round knockout.

    The next fight saw Frank Mir break Nogueira's arm with a kimura, then 10 months later, Nogueira beat Dave Herman with an armbar.

    Nogueira's last two fights saw him get submitted by Fabricio Werdum and then viciously knocked out by Roy Nelson.

    To break it down simply, Nogueira is 3-5 in his past eight, has been finished in every loss and had never been finished before this streak. Also, the only people he's beaten are Randy Couture, Brendan Schaub and Dave Herman.

    I'm not saying Nogueira has to retire if he loses in his next fight, but if it's as bad as the loss to Nelson, he should.

Josh Koscheck

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Josh Koscheck is a one-time UFC welterweight title challenger. In fact, it's since Koscheck lost that fight to Georges St-Pierre that he's been on a downslide in his career.

    After losing to GSP at UFC 124—50-45 scorecards across the board—Koscheck faced former welterweight champion Matt Hughes. Koscheck would win by knockout just one second before the end of the first round. It would end up being Hughes' last fight.

    Koscheck followed that with an incredibly close split-decision victory over Mike Pierce, whom many considered to be a step below Koscheck's level at that point.

    Then, Koscheck fought to another split decision, but he lost this one to Johny Hendricks. After that, Koscheck was knocked out in just under four minutes by Robbie Lawler, and then knocked out by Tyron Woodley in about four-and-a-half minutes.

    If Koscheck suffers another first-round knockout, there would be no way to deny that his best days are behind him.

BJ Penn

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    BJ Penn hasn't fought since December 2012, and that's because he was basically retired.

    Back at UFC 112 in 2010, BJ Penn lost his lightweight title to Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision. Then at UFC 118, Edgar beat Penn again and proved he was the champion.

    After that loss, Penn moved up to welterweight and knocked out Matt Hughes in just 21 seconds. Penn's next fight saw him take on Jon Fitch, where they fought to a draw.

    After the fight with Fitch, and after some serious confusion with UFC 137, Penn faced off against Nick Diaz, where Diaz took a unanimous decision, including one 10-8 round.

    After the loss to Diaz, Penn retired, but he was only out for 14 months and returned to the cage in December 2012 to take on Rory MacDonald. MacDonald won a unanimous decision. He won all three rounds, and two judges scored a 10-8 round.

    Penn has been out since that fight, but now he's coaching on Season 19 of The Ultimate Fighter, and he will face Frankie Edgar for a third time at The Ultimate Fighter 19 finale in July.

    Should Penn lose to Edgar for a third time, and in the featherweight division, it may be smart of Penn to retire, again, again.