Each and every year, the sport of mixed martial arts has its fair share of up-and-coming fighters who establish themselves as legitimate contenders in their respected weight divisions.
However, in the same sentence, there are also many fighters who begin to lose the talent and skill sets they once dominated with.
In result, these fighters choose to walk away from the sport they once revolved their lives around.
Many of these fighters are individuals who were once considered to be in the upper echelon of the sport but have recently fallen from their stardom.
As we approach the new year it's certain we will witness more and more fighters look towards retirement.
So, the following slides display 10 fighters who will walk away from the sport of MMA in 2012.
"Smooth sailing" were the words to describe Dan Hardy's early career in the UFC welterweight division.
However, Hardy is back-roading as of late as he's lost four consecutive fights while failing to look impressive in any of them.
Somehow, someway Hardy remains in the UFC.
But, the likelihood of him walking away in 2012 is worth betting on.
Wanderlei Silva has been fighting inside a ring or an Octagon for as long as most of us can remember.
And, for the better part of his career Silva was considered to be one of the most dangerous strikers in the world as he'll be remembered for his dominance in the organization of Pride.
However, "The Axe Murderer" is far from his former fame as he's lost six of his last nine bouts.
Time to hang up the axe.
From feared to not at all, Takanori Gomi has overstayed his welcome with the sport of MMA.
Gomi has now lost three of his last four and five of his last eight.
In his last four bouts, Gomi has been submitted four times, leading fans to believe he needs to hang up the gloves for good.
Forrest Griffin still has the skill set to compete for a title in the light heavyweight division of the UFC.
However, the only thing that's missing is the drive and motivation needed to be a champion.
Somewhere along the way Griffin lost the heart that caused so many fans to love him in the first place.
Fans shouldn't be the slightest bit surprised to see Griffin step away from MMA at some point in 2012.
Following his knockout loss to Josh Koscheck at UFC 135, many fans felt that it would be the last time they saw UFC legend Matt Hughes.
However, that wasn't the case as Hughes believes he still has more left in the tank.
Unfortunately, Hughes' age has caught up with him as he no longer has the speed to compete at the highest level of MMA.
After an historical career, it's likely Tito Ortiz will fight in one last bout before calling it quits.
While Ortiz has been fighting over the past several years, he hasn't been anywhere close to the "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" we all once knew.
A win in his next outing will be the perfect farewell for a man who deserves to go out the right way for all he's accomplished over the course of his career.
Tim Sylvia may very well be the most under-appreciated champion in MMA history.
It's strictly the love of the sport that keeps Sylvia's engine going as he is still competing with organizations such as ProElite to this very day.
However, enough is enough.
Sylvia needs to walk away when the new year rolls around.
Wait, Andrei Arlovski is still fighting to this very day?
He sure is.
And, despite winning his last two bouts, Arlovski is no longer competing at the high level of MMA that he once did with the UFC and Strikeforce.
Time to sign the retirement papers.
Has anyone ever heard of "King of Backyard Fights"?
Well, that is the event that Tank Abbott recently fought in and won.
However, winning in no-named competitions or events won't restart anyone's legacy, as Abbott needs to walk away from the sport in 2012.
Abbott's now lost eight of his last 11 bouts.
Sadly, it's likely that many will remember Fedor Emelianenko not for what he accomplished over the course of his career but the collapse that took place near the end it.
After going nearly 10 years without suffering a single loss, Fedor has lost three of his last four bouts.
Before his legacy is tarnished anymore than it already has been, Fedor needs to up and go.