Predicting How Many Fights Each of the Top 25 UFC Fighters Have Left in Them

Sean SmithAnalyst IAugust 10, 2011

Predicting How Many Fights Each of the Top 25 UFC Fighters Have Left in Them

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    With UFC veterans such as Randy Couture and Matt Hamill retiring, we got to wondering how many fights some of the best fighters in the UFC have left in them before they decide to call it quits.

    While some of these fighters have been around for awhile and are likely considering retirement already, others are just hitting their stride in the sport and have a very bright future ahead of them.

    Let's take a look at the top 25 fighters in the UFC and how many fights they might have left in their MMA careers.

Chad Mendes

1 of 25

    Chad Mendes has gotten his career off to an excellent start. In only three years as a professional, the 26-year-old is already 11-0 and nearing a shot at the UFC Featherweight Championship.

    With plenty of years left in him and a fighting style that does not lend itself to taking damage, fans can expect to see plenty more fights from Mendes.

    Fights Remaining: 30

Brian Bowles

2 of 25

    If Brian Bowles can defeat Urijah Faber in his next fight, the former WEC Bantamweight Champion will earn another chance to hold a 135 belt.

    Injuries have been a problem for the 31-year-old Bowles, but he definitely still has plenty of competitive years left in him.

    Fights Remaining: 8

Lyoto Machida

3 of 25

    After winning the first 16 fights of his career and becoming UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Lyoto Machida lost his only two fights in 2010.

    After a knockout loss to Mauricio Rua, Machida's father tried to talk his son into retirement. Machida decided to continue fighting and knocked out Randy Couture two fights later.

    Machida still has a few years left in him where he can compete as one of the best in the division, but Machida doesn't seem like the type of fighter to continue competing once he has passed his prime.

    Fights Remaining: 6

Shane Carwin

4 of 25

    After suffering his first two losses in back-to-back fights, some might begin to wonder how much 36-year-old Shane Carwin has left in the tank.

    Unless Carwin makes significant improvements, it will be hard for him to seriously challenge the new generation of heavyweights like Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. As a mechanical engineer, Carwin has little reason to drag is fighting career out for monetary purposes, so one more loss could mean retirement for the imposing heavyweight.

    Fights Remaining: 3

Brock Lesnar

5 of 25

    Battling a second case of diverticulitis, Brock Lesnar is probably more worried about his personal health than fighting at the moment.

    At 34 years old, Lesnar doesn't have many years left as it is, so his health issues are significantly shortening his career.

    Fights Remaining: 2

Quinton Jackson

6 of 25

    With 40 professional fights under his belt, Quinton Jackson's upcoming title shot against Jon Jones could be his last chance to reclaim the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

    Having already announced his retirement in the past, Jackson is looking toward the future with a career in acting. Recently, the 33-year-old said that he would like to retire at the age of 35.

    Fights Remaining: 4

Kenny Florian

7 of 25

    With his recent win over Diego Nunes, 35-year-old Kenny Florian earned what could be his final shot at winning a UFC belt. At UFC 136, Florian will take on UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo.

    Florian has said he wants to return to lightweight before retiring, but a third failed attempt at capturing a title would almost surely have Florian pondering retirement.

    Fights Remaining: 5

Yushin Okami

8 of 25

    After five years in the UFC, Yushin Okami is finally getting his chance to fight for the UFC Middleweight Championship.

    Although he has 31 fights under his belt, Okami is still in excellent condition and has not been involved in many wars over the course of his career.

    Fights Remaining: 11

Rashad Evans

9 of 25

    Having been in the UFC since Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter, it seems like Rashad Evans would have more than 18 fights under his belt.

    Having suffered only one knockout loss in his career, the 31-year-old Evans is in excellent condition for his age. Still, a loss in a title fight agains the winner of a fight between UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and Quinton Jackson would be very discouraging for Evans.

    Fights Remaining: 12

Mauricio Rua

10 of 25

    After losing his belt to Jon Jones, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio Rua will attempt to get back on track by avenging a loss to Forrest Griffin.

    Although he is only 29 years old, Rua has had plenty of injury problems throughout his career, which could result in an early exit from the sport.

    Fights Remaining: 6

B.J. Penn

11 of 25

    As a former champion in multiple weight divisions, B.J. Penn doesn't much left to prove in this sport. Still, Penn has shown that he is still one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world by becoming a contender in the welterweight division.

    Having contemplated retirement in the past, Penn could surprise us all by calling it quits at any time.

    Fights Remaining: 4

Jon Fitch

12 of 25

    Jon Fitch has been considered one of the best fighters in the welterweight division for quite some time now, but his recent draw against B.J. Penn may have damaged his chances at ever earning another shot at UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre.

    Fitch's style has prevented him from taking much damage in his 28 professional fights. Therefore, he could very well continue competing into his late-30s.

    Fights Remaining: 12

Joseph Benavidez

13 of 25

    With two losses against current UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz, Joseph Benavidez's career has hit a wall.

    However, the upcoming addition of a UFC flyweight division could breath new life into the 27-year-old Benavidez.

    Fights Remaining: 21

Jake Shields

14 of 25

    It has been a long and winding career for Jake Shields. After fighting in smaller organization until recently, it would be fitting for Shields' career to come to an end in the UFC.

    Shields currently competes at welterweight, but it seems likely that Shields would want to make a run at another middleweight belt before calling it a career.

    Fights Remaining: 10

Urijah Faber

15 of 25

    Having lost a one-sided bout to UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo, it would seem that Urijah Faber's career will end in the bantamweight division.

    A fight with Brian Bowles at UFC 139 could earn Faber a rubber match with UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz.

    Fights Remaining: 5

Chael Sonnen

16 of 25

    For a guy who calls Matt Lindland and Dan Henderson his mentors, fighting into his 40s would be the norm in Chael Sonnen's mind.

    At 34 years old, Sonnen has only recently reached the height of his popularity in the sport. As long as his body doesn't fail him, Sonnen may be defending his imaginary belt for years to come.

    Fights Remaining: 15

Junior Dos Santos

17 of 25

    The 26-year-old Junior dos Santos is already the second best heavyweight in the world and will have a chance to become UFC Heavyweight Champion with his next fight against Cain Velasquez.

    Judging by his willingness to accept an unnecessary appearance on The Ultimate Fighter, dos Santos is going to remain very active for the rest of his career.

    Fights Remaining: 30

Gray Maynard

18 of 25

    Having fought to a draw with UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard has to be considered the best non-champion in the UFC right now.

    After getting a late start to his MMA career, the 32-year-old Maynard has taken much less damage than other fighters his age.

    Fights Remaining: 12

Cain Velasquez

19 of 25

    After beating Brock Lesnar with ease, Cain Velasquez will now attempt to write his legacy as UFC Heavyweight Champion.

    Velasquez's first title defense won't come easily, though, as he is set to take on Junior dos Santos in a battle of the two most talented young fighters in the division.

    Fights Remaining: 16

Jon Jones

20 of 25

    Already UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, 24-year-old Jon Jones has the potential to become one of the most accomplished fighters of all time.

    Before that, Jones will have to defend his belt for the first time against Quinton Jackson. A win over Jackson would set up a fight against Jones' teammate-turned-rival Rashad Evans.

    Fights Remaining: 36

Frankie Edgar

21 of 25

    By dethroning B.J. Penn, Frankie Edgar has put himself in a position to become the best UFC Lightweight Champion ever. However, the only opponent Edgar has been unable to defeat is standing in his way.

    Edgar will fight Gray Maynard for the third time at UFC 136. In their last meeting, Edgar was nearly finished in the first round and made a brilliant comeback to earn a draw on the scorecards.

    Fights Remaining: 14

Dominick Cruz

22 of 25

    At the age of 25, Dominick Cruz has already made 18 appearances in his MMA career. Cruz continues to grow as a fighter and recently avenged the only loss of his career against Urijah Faber.

    With three title defenses under the Zuffa banner, Cruz has a long and successful career ahead of him.

    Fights Remaining: 25

Jose Aldo

23 of 25

    With only one loss in 20 career fights, 24-year-old Jose Aldo is well on his way to becoming the best featherweight fighter in the history of the sport.

    A win over Kenny Florian in his next fight would give the young champion title defenses in four straight fights. Injuries are already becoming a problem for Aldo, though.

    Fights Remaining: 20

Georges St-Pierre

24 of 25

    Last year, Georges St-Pierre said he would retire once he reached his goal of becoming the best fighter in the sport.

    Right now, the one fight that would guarantee St-Pierre that honor would be a superfight against Anderson Silva.

    Fights Remaining: 6

Anderson Silva

25 of 25

    Time is beginning to tick on Anderson Silva's career. While he remains champion, it is only a matter of time until the Brazilian suffers a setback.

    Once that setback happens, there will be little left for Silva to prove in this sport. Ideally, Silva will fight Georges St-Pierre before his career comes to an end, but the window for that fight is closing.

    Fights Remaining: 4

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