Back in April, UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey mildly shocked the world when she announced her retirement dot dot dot in two years, explaining that it’d be the end of her quadrennial career cycle (or something) and overtly hinting that she’d rather make movies and be a popular millionaire than get punched in the face.
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Bones Jones is jumping on that train this week, announcing that he’ll be done with MMA in four years and retired by thirty, but he’s got a much better excuse: he never wants to be Tito Ortiz.
Via MMA Junkie:
Jones is fully aware of that, and even if he’s still considered the world’s best fighter at 30, he believes continuing beyond that point would only tarnish his reputation.
“Right now, where I’m at financially, I never thought I would be, so I could honestly retire today… I just want to leave the sport with a good head on my shoulders, I don’t want to be one of these guys that are taking fights way past their prime.”
While I listen to enough rap music and watch enough pro wrestling to already be tired of people prematurely announcing their retirement to make themselves seem more important than they are, it’s not a bad rationale. The North American sports scene is built around the idea that we’re all hoarders who can’t let go, so guys stick around way too long through some combination of familiarity and pity until they’re totally broken down, quarter-assed versions of the things we loved. Movies and TV are like that, too. How many seasons did ‘The Office’ get after it’d spoiled? Don’t even get me started on ‘The Simpsons.’
So yeah, hey, maybe Jon Jones wants to show his grandkids that he has all ten toes intact. That’s not a bad thing. Maybe he’ll hold the title for four more years and retire as champion. He should just go ahead and announce that now.