Aging brings unpleasant changes to our body and is especially hard for fighters. When they’re young, athletes and fighters are pretty energetic and tough, but as they grow old, their decline is expected. Few fighters in MMA or other martial arts have managed to be successful past their prime, but there have been a few late bloomers that have managed to beat father time.
However, there are some fighters some didn’t let age stand in their way. You can still bet on at least a few of these fighters at www.novibet.co.uk where you can find great odds and promotions. Here are 5 MMA “late bloomers” we can’t help but admire:
Sonnen is the definition of a late bloomer – he didn’t have much success before the age of 29 when he lost his eight MMA match to Jeremy Horn. However, he’s been great afterward. After that loss, Sonnen went on to win 12 out of 17 matches, getting 3 shots at the title and defeating Nate Marquardt and Michael Bisping during the stretch. Even at the age of 41, Sonnen is still active, competing in the Bellator MMA heavyweight division.
Belfort was never lacking in experience, but his best fights and titles came when he was older than 30. The Phenom had a nice run in various MMA divisions, getting titles in the heavyweight, light heavyweight and middleweight categories. Some fans may hold his UFC 46 title against him as he won it due to a technicality, but Belfort was a fierce fighter late in his career and could win against anyone. Just ask former light heavyweight champ Jon Jones who nearly suffered a broken hand in his win against Belfort at the UFC 152, when Belfort was 35.
The Super Samoan made his UFC debut in 2010 at the age of 36. He is a former boxer and kickboxer who ranked #6 on the UFC heavyweight list last year. Almost at the age of 39 in 2013, Hunt defeated Stefan Struve in the Octagon with a vicious left hook that broke Struve’s jaw, which earned Hunt the Knockout Of The Night honors. He’s still competing at the age of 44 and shows no signs of slowing down.
Liddell is a UFC Hall Of Famer who competed between 1998 and 2010 when he retired at the age of 40. Although he faltered a bit nearing his retirement, Liddell’s best performances came when he was under 35. He defeated another UFC legend Tito Ortiz twice, once in 2004 when he was 34 and 2 years later as well.
Couture is the biggest UFC legend and the man responsible for the MMA’s incredible rise to popularity along with Chuck Liddell. Couture is the only fighter to win a title match over the age of 40 and he’s done it four times. He made his debut at the age of 34 and won a lot of titles before retiring in 2007 at the age of 44.