MMA's Older Generation Wants to Return to the UFC

Jake SauickieCorrespondent IApril 11, 2010

HOLLYWOOD, FL - SEPTEMBER 20:  Ricco Rodriguez of the New York Pit Bulls takes a forarm to the throat by Ben Rothwell of the Quad Cities Silverbacks in their Heavyweight bout during the the International Fight League World Championship Finals on September 19, 2007 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in  Hollywood, Florida  The International Fight League is the worlds first team based professional mixed martial arts league.  In a match, two teams compete against each other with the winning team being the one whose members win three of five one on one matches in five weight divisions.  Competition goes in a round robin format amongst 12 teams with the teams with the two best records ultimately competing for the IFL Championship.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

As UFC 112 was approaching, I started to think about what it was like when it first started and what it is like now.

The types of fighters then vs. the fighters now. The One dimensional fighter vs. the Multi-Dimensional fighter of today.

One thing I can't get over is how some of those fighters actually made somewhat of a comeback in the sport.

Randy Couture came back from his loss to Chuck Liddell to reclaim the heavyweight title from then champion Tim Sylvia, Chuck Liddell is going to be making his return against former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, and then there are other fighters who were cut from the UFC that are trying to just stay relevant in the sport and get back to their glory-filled days many years ago.

Here are a few guys I have taken notice of that have openly stated, they want to get back to being the champion caliber fighter they were.


Ken Shamrock

The World's Most Dangerous Man should retire after his disappointing return to the sport in 2000, but he still feels he can be the best out there.

It's a shame because at one time, everybody thought Ken was the best fighter ever and the only one that came close to him was Bas Rutten. He's rebounded from his five straight losses over a relatively unknown, out of shape heavyweight Ross Clifton.

Right now, he is trying to set up a fight with the fighter that collapsed Elite XC, Seth Petruzelli.

A win over Seth can give Ken the practice he needs for now before he faces an elite fighter. I doubt the UFC will ever bring him back, but you never know. They brought back guys like Mark Coleman and Phil Baroni.


Tim Sylvia

The Maine-Iac has fallen from Grace. The 6'8, 265-pound giant was on top of the world when he defeated the likes of Andrei Arlovski, Ricco Rodriguez, Jeff Monson and many others. 

When he first came onto the UFC scene, he was destroying guys left and right. But once he faced Frank Mir and Andrei Arlovski something happened.

He was afraid to fight after that, being both dropped by Arlovski and tapped out by Mir.

Since being cut from the UFC after losing to two legends like Couture and Nogueira, he fell down even deeper by losing quickly to Fedor and got knocked out in 8 seconds by former heavyweight boxing champion, Ray Mercer.

Since then, he beat relatively unknown Jason Riley and is being set up to fight a few opponents to get himself back on track, possibly Wes Sims or former World's Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski.

Maybe if Sylvia can get back to the being the fighter he was, the UFC might re-sign him and he can be the good fighter he once was. 


Ricco Rodriguez

Ricco has had so many problems during his fight career with drugs, his family, and weight problems.

Ricco was definitely a guy that had the tools to be champion, but with the way he won fights, I never thought he was that deserving of having the title. I always thought he was a big fish in a small pond. 

Since being released from the UFC organization, he's compiled a 40-11 record, kicked his past drug habits, no longer has family problems, and has kicked his weight problems out of his life.

He was always a big guy who walked around at 250 pounds, but when he left the UFC, his weight ballooned up to close to 400 lbs and now he is down to a low 220 lbs.

He is currently in talks with the UFC and wants to make his return to the light heavyweight division. Maybe we might see another threat to the UFC light heavyweight division.


Pedro Rizzo

The Rock never was a champion but always had the talent to be one. For some reason he just couldn't excel to the next level of fighter.

Since leaving the UFC, Pedro has compiled a record of 17-9 but hasn't looked that impressive.

The Rock still likes to compete and I have the feeling he might get an act of sympathy from Zuffa like Mark Coleman and get the opportunity to return to the UFC.


Andrei Arlovski

Since the Pitbull was cut from the UFC in 2008, he has compiled a 15-7 record, and gone 2-2.

He destroyed the IFL's best in Ben Rothwell and Roy Nelson, but fell short against Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers by knockouts in devastating fashion.

Arlovski has recently signed with Strikeforce and will be making his return to fighting against Antonio Silva.

Because of his lackluster performances in the UFC and his last two losses, many people are doubting the Belorussian because they feel he can't hang with the best heavyweights out there and he has a weak chin.

The Pitbull wants to fight the best there is out there and wants to be the best. Maybe with some good wins, head movement, and less greed, he can get back to the UFC and be the champion he once was.

These guys were some of the best fighters at one point in time, but now I feel that time has passed just like many others.

The UFC has always talked about only signing the best fighters out there and most of the time they have stuck to that saying.

But lately, with the freakshow fights they've been setting up, it wouldn't surprise me if they brought all these veterans back to the Octagon.


    Cowboy Cerrone Picks Big Win

    MMA logo

    Cowboy Cerrone Picks Big Win

    David McCracken
    via Bleacher Report

    We Could See Jones Back in 2018

    MMA logo

    We Could See Jones Back in 2018

    Chad Dundas
    via Bleacher Report

    Conor Trolls Floyd on IG

    MMA logo

    Conor Trolls Floyd on IG

    Steven Rondina
    via Bleacher Report

    Mitrione Edges Nelson to Advance in Bellator GP

    MMA logo

    Mitrione Edges Nelson to Advance in Bellator GP

    MMA Fighting
    via MMA Fighting