2023 MMA retirement tracker: A list of former UFC champions, legends and more who hung up the gloves

MMA is a constantly evolving sport with a revolving door of athletes entering and exiting. Currently, fighters from the era who helped make the sport so popular are beginning to trickle away from competition and hang up their gloves in order to move on to the next chapter in life.

If there’s one thing that’s well known about combat sports retirements, though, it’s that they often don’t last long. The urge to compete, and perhaps more importantly get a payday, will continue to drive fighters back even well beyond their expiration dates.

2023 has seen an uptick in notable fighters announcing they are done with the sport, and we have a list of those who have opted to walk away this year (the list will update as new retirements are announced).

Leah Letson

Leah Letson
Leah Letson

MMA debut date: Nov. 22, 2014
Retirement date: Jan. 9, 2023
Age: 30
Record: 5-2
Notable win: Julija Stoliarenko
Source: Letson’s retirement

Claudio Silva

Claudio Silva
Claudio Silva

MMA debut date: Nov. 10, 2007
Retirement date: Jan. 16, 2023
Age: 40
Record: 14-4
Notable wins: Leon Edwards, Nordine Taleb, Danny Roberts
Source: Silva’s retirement

Mauricio Rua

Mauricio Rua
Mauricio Rua

MMA debut date: Nov. 8, 2002
Retirement date: Jan. 21, 2023
Age: 41
Record: 27-14-1
Notable wins: Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida, Forrest Griffin, Alistair Overeem, Quinton Jackson
Source: Rua’s retirement

Glover Teixeira

Glover Teixeira
Glover Teixeira

MMA debut date: June 7, 2002
Retirement date: Jan. 21, 2023
Age: 43
Record: 33-9
Notable wins: Jan Blachowicz, Quinton Jackson, Anthony Smith
Source: Teixeira’s retirement

Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianenko
Fedor Emelianenko

MMA debut date: May 21, 2000
Retirement date: Feb. 4, 2023
Age: 46
Record: 40-7 with one no contest
Notable wins: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, Frank Mir, Chael Sonnen, Quinton Jakson
Source: Emelianenko’s retirement

Lina Lansberg

Lina Lansberg
Lina Lansberg

MMA debut date: Dec. 29, 2012
Retirement date: Feb. 19, 2023
Age: 40
Record: 10-8
Notable wins: Macy Chiasson, Tonya Evinger
Source: Lansberg’s retirement

George Sullivan

George Sullivan
George Sullivan

MMA debut date: Feb. 11, 2006
Retirement date: March 3, 2023
Age: 41
Record: 18-8
Notable wins: Greg Soto, Julian Lane, Mike Rhodes, Igor Araujo
Source: MyMMANews

Benson Henderson

Benson Henderson
Benson Henderson

MMA debut date: Nov. 18, 2006
Retirement date: March 10, 2023
Age: 39
Record: 30-12
Notable wins: Donald Cerrone (twice), Jim Miller, Clay Guida, Frankie Edgar (twice), Nate Diaz, Gilbert Melendez, Patricio Freire
Source: In-cage retirement after Bellator 292

Raphael Assuncao

Raphael Assuncao
Raphael Assuncao

MMA debut date: Jan. 23, 2004
Retirement date: March 11, 2023
Age: 40
Record: 28-10
Notable wins: Jorge Masvidal, Joe Lauzon, T.J. Dillashaw, Aljamain Sterling, Marlon Moraes
Source: In-cage retirement after UFC Fight Night 221

Steven Peterson

Steven Peterson
Steven Peterson

MMA debut date: Aug. 4, 2010
Retirement date: March 25, 2023
Age: 32
Record: 19-11
Notable wins: Chase Hooper
Source: In-cage retirement after UFC on ESPN 43 loss

John Salter

John Salter
John Salter

MMA debut date: March 27, 2009
Retirement date: March 31, 2023
Age: 38
Record: 19-6
Notable wins: Dustin Jacoby, Kendall Grove, Chidi Njokuani
Source: In-cage retirement after Bellator 293 win

Jorge Masvidal

MIAMI, FLORIDA – APRIL 08: Jorge Masvidal speaks with UFC commentator Joe Rogan as he announces his retirement after his unanimous decision loss to Gilbert Burns of Brazil in their welterweight bout during UFC 287 at Kaseya Center on April 08, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA – APRIL 08: Jorge Masvidal speaks with UFC commentator Joe Rogan as he announces his retirement after his unanimous decision loss to Gilbert Burns of Brazil in their welterweight bout during UFC 287 at Kaseya Center on April 08, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

MMA debut date: May 24, 2003
Retirement date: April 8, 2023
Age: 38
Record: 19-6
Notable wins: Tim Means, Michael Chiesa, Donald Cerrone, Darren Till, Ben Askren, Nate Diaz
Source: In-cage retirement after UFC 287 unanimous decision loss to Gilbert Burns

Zak Cummings

Apr 15, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Zak Cummings (red gloves) reacts after the fight against Ed Herman (blue gloves) after their fight during UFC Fight Night at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 15, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Zak Cummings (red gloves) reacts after the fight against Ed Herman (blue gloves) after their fight during UFC Fight Night at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

MMA debut date: Nov. 28, 2007
Retirement date: April 15, 2023
Age: 38
Record: 25-7
Notable wins: Trevin Giles, Nicholas Dalby, Terry Martin
Source: In-cage retirement after UFC on ESPN 44 win over Ed Herman

Ed Herman

Apr 15, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Ed Herman (blue gloves) reacts after the fight against Zak Cummings (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 15, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Ed Herman (blue gloves) reacts after the fight against Zak Cummings (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at T-Mobile Center. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

MMA debut date: May 10, 2003
Retirement date: April 15, 2023
Age: 42
Record: 26-16 with one no contest
Notable wins: Glover Teixeira, David Loiseau, Tim Boetsch
Source: In-cage retirement after UFC on ESPN 44 loss to Zak Cummings

Juan Espino

Juan Espino
Juan Espino

MMA debut date: Feb. 21, 2009
Retirement date: April 21, 2023
Age: 42
Record: 10-2
Source: Espino’s retirement

Ray Borg

Ray Borg
Ray Borg

MMA debut date: Aug. 11, 2012
Retirement date: April 21, 2023
Age: 29
Record: 16-5
Notable wins: Jussier Formiga, Louis Smolka, Ricky Bandejas
Source: Borg’s retirement

Chad Mendes

Chad Mendes
Chad Mendes

MMA debut date: Sept. 26, 2008
Retirement date: April 29, 2023
Age: 37
Record: 18-5
Notable wins: Cub Swanson, Darren Elkins, Clay Guida, Ricardo Lamas
Source: In-cage retirement at BKFC 41

Jim Wallhead

Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Jim “Judo” Wallhead​ (blue gloves)​​​​​​ before fight against Luan “Tarzan” Chagas ​(red gloves) during UFC 212 at Jeunesse Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 3, 2017; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Jim “Judo” Wallhead​ (blue gloves)​​​​​​ before fight against Luan “Tarzan” Chagas ​(red gloves) during UFC 212 at Jeunesse Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

MMA debut date: April 8, 2005
Retirement date: April 29, 2023
Age: 39
Record: 32-12
Notable wins: Frank Trigg, Joey Villasenor, Mateusz Figlak (to win Cage Warriors interim welterweight title)
Source: In-cage retirement at Cage Warriors 153

Alistair Overeem

Alistair Overeem
Alistair Overeem

MMA debut date: Oct. 24, 1999
Retirement date: June 1, 2023
Age: 43
Record: 49-19 with 1 no contest
Notable wins: Brock Lesnar, Fabricio Werdum (twice), Mark Hunt (twice), Junior Dos Santos, Andrei Arlovski, Frank Mir, Vitor Belfort
Source: Appearance on Dubai morning show

Marlon Moraes

2023 PFL 4: Atlanta at the OTE Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)
2023 PFL 4: Atlanta at the OTE Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, Thursday, June 8, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

MMA debut date: April 14, 2007
Retirement date: June 8, 2023
Age: 35
Record: 23-13-1
Notable wins: Jose Aldo, Raphael Assuncao, Aljamain Sterling, John Dodson
Source: In-cage retirement at 2023 PFL 4

Amanda Nunes

Jun 10, 2023; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Amanda Nunes celebrates her victory by decison against Irene Aldana during UFC 289 at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 10, 2023; Vancouver, BC, Canada; Amanda Nunes celebrates her victory by decison against Irene Aldana during UFC 289 at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

MMA debut date: March 8, 2008
Retirement date: June 11, 2023
Age: 35
Record: 23-5
Notable wins: Julia Budd, Germaine de Randamie (twice), Sara McMann, Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Raquel Pennington, Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm, Julianna Peña
Source: In-cage retirement as dual women’s featherweight and bantamweight champion at UFC 289 after sixth defense of 135-pound title

Stevie Ray

2023 PFL 6: Atlanta at the OTE Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, Friday, June 23, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)
2023 PFL 6: Atlanta at the OTE Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, Friday, June 23, 2023. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

MMA debut date: June 27, 2010
Retirement date: June 23, 2023
Age: 33
Record: 25-13
Notable wins: Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Michael Johnson, Anthony Pettis (twice)
Source: Ray Instagram post

Robbie Lawler

Jul 8, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Robbie Lawler (red gloves) reacts to defeating Niko Price (blue gloves) during UFC 290 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 8, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Robbie Lawler (red gloves) reacts to defeating Niko Price (blue gloves) during UFC 290 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

MMA debut date: April 7, 2001
Retirement date: July 8, 2023
Age: 41
Record: 30-16
Notable wins: Chris Lytle, Frank Trigg, Melvin Manhoef, Josh Koscheck, Rory MacDonald (twice), Jake Ellenberger, Matt Brown, Johny Hendricks (for UFC welterweight title), Carlos Condit, Donald Cerrone, Nick Diaz
Source: Lawler pre-fight announcement and post-win confirmation in the cage at UFC 290

Kevin Lee

MMA debut date: March 31, 2012
Retirement date: July 11, 2023
Age: 30
Record: 19-8
Notable wins: Mansour Barnaoui, Michael Chiesa, Edson Barboza, Diego Sanchez
Source: Lee announcement on Instagram

Carlos Candelario

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 14: (R-L) Carlos Candelario battles Tatsuro Taira of Japan in a flyweight fight at UFC APEX on May 14, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 14: (R-L) Carlos Candelario battles Tatsuro Taira of Japan in a flyweight fight at UFC APEX on May 14, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

MMA debut date: Jan. 3, 2015
Retirement date: July 31, 2023
Age: 32
Record: 8-3
Notable wins: Ronaldo Candido on Dana White’s Contender Series, 2017
Source: Candelario announcement on Facebook

Chan Sung Jung

“The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung
“The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung

MMA debut date: June 24, 2007
Retirement date: Aug. 26, 2023
Age: 36
Record: 17-8
Notable wins: Mark Hominick, Dustin Poirier, Dennis Bermudez, Renato Moicano, Frankie Edgar
Source: In-cage announcement after UFC Fight Night 225 main event knockout loss to Max Holloway.

Jake Hager

Jake Hager
Jake Hager

MMA debut date: Jan. 26, 2019
Retirement date: Sept. 20, 2023
Age: 41
Record: 3-0
Notable wins: None
Source: Hager’s retirement announcement

Daniel Weichel

Daniel Weichel
Daniel Weichel

MMA debut date: May 12, 2002
Retirement date: Sept. 23, 2023
Age: 38
Record: 42-15
Notable wins: Pat Curran, Emmanuel Sanchez, Desmond Green
Source: In-cage interview after Bellator 299 loss

Nohelin Hernandez

https://www.instagram.com/p/CxL5pP2SNne/

MMA debut date: Aug. 20, 2016
Retirement date: Sept. 14, 2023
Age: 29
Record: 12-6
Notable wins: Martin Day, Manny Vazquez
Source: Instagram post

Angela Lee

MMA debut date: May 22, 2015
Retirement date: Sept. 29, 2023
Age: 27
Record: 11-3
Notable wins: Mei Yamaguchi (twice), Istela Nunes, Xiong Jing Nan, Stamp Fairtex
Source: ONE Fight Night 14 broadcast

Olivier Aubin-Mercier

https://www.instagram.com/p/C0O-eC_ryrN

MMA debut date: Oct. 21, 2011
Retirement date: Nov. 29, 2023
Age: 34
Record: 21-5
Notable wins: Clay Collard, Shane Burgos, Natan Schulte, Drew Dober
Source: Instagram post

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie