Peak performance can be defined simply as: able to do one’s best in one’s best physical state.
Math tells us that what goes up must come down, and in between, there is by and large a moment in time when you reach your peak. Such is the case for fighters who, if they do everything right, go from prospect to contender to champion. And then, at some point, our bodies start to betray us, and the cruel circle of life comes full circle.
The last painful—and drawn out—display of a champion we once thought of as indestructible played out with Chuck Liddell. It had also been occurring with Wanderlei Silva…and last night was likely the exclamation point of that decline from former champ to shell of former self.
Wanderlei has been past his peak for sometime now. There are other fighters that are somewhere between possibly past their peak (but it's hard to say for sure) and very far past their peak. And some fighters, well, they make it hard as they look to be on the decline...only to get back up again.
Let’s take a look at some of the more notable ones, shall we.