5 MMA fighters who never recovered from a tough loss

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

January 27th, 2021

A tough loss doesn't have to define you, but it can certainly break you.

These five MMA fighters were never the same after they suffered monumental defeats.

Gray Maynard

After he went 1-1-1 in his trilogy with Frankie Edgar, one that ended with Maynard getting savaged by an uppercut and a flurry of shots that cracked his iron chin, Maynard saw his promising career go up in smoke.

After he defeated Clay Guida in 2012, Maynard went four years without a win and dropped his next four fights.

A cracked chin never heals, and Maynard’s 3-6 record since the third Edgar fight has seen him stopped five times.

Johny Hendricks

The former welterweight champion hoped to bounce back into contention at the expense of Stephen Thompson in 2016, which resulted in the first stoppage loss of his career.

The Thompson loss precipitated a terrifying fall from grace. Hendricks struggled with his conditioning, missed weight for his next two losses, and ultimately moved up to middleweight. He ended up being too big for welterweight but too small for middleweight, as back-to-back knockout losses sent him into retirement.

Chris Weidman

When Weidman shocked the world and ended the long run of Anderson Silva in 2013, it looked like one great was replaced by another. But Weidman suffered the same fate when he was stopped by Luke Rockhold 2015 and went from champ to doormat.

Weidman has a 2-5 record over the last five years, and was stopped in each loss. That should be enough to dismiss a fighter from UFC, but Weidman is still competing.

Anderson Silva

We can’t talk about Weidman without detailing Silva's dramatic fall from grace.

Back-to-back losses to Weidman left Silva a shell of himself, though he soldiered on, despite publicly discussing retirement repeatedly.

Silva got a win over Nick Diaz overturned — the first of multiple PED violations — and a plethora of losses made up the sad, sorry final years of his career. While Silva is fondly remembered for his accomplishments, his 1-8 finish is as much of a story as his achievements.

Chuck Liddell

When the "Iceman" tried to settle the score with rival Quentin Jackson in 2007, the ensuing knockout loss ended the premier run of his career and signaled the beginning of something worse.

Suddenly, Liddell was a shell of himself and began showing the physical signs of a fighter damaged to the body and brain.

He continued to fight on, and took additional punishment and losses along the way, until Dana White pulled the plug, after a first-round knockout loss to Rich Franklin in 2010.

A pathetic one off return in 2018 underscored how far gone he was, in a widely criticized loss to rival Tito Ortiz.