Deciding the right time to retire is always tough for a professional MMA fighter, but some don’t even get to make that choice, with serious injuries and ailments leaving them with no option but to hang up their gloves for good.
In this article, we’ll look at 10 stars whose time in the sport ended prematurely while they were still in the prime years of their career, and find out what became of them afterward.
Genki Sudo is fondly remembered for his remarkable fight entrances while fighting in Japan that were akin to mini-concerts with elaborate costumes, carefully choreographed dance routines and pyrotechnics.
He was also one of Japan’s best fighters, competing for the likes of the UFC, K-1, Pancrase, Rings and Heroes, and claiming victories over the likes of Nate Marquardt, ‘Kid’ Yamamoto, Mike Brown, Ramon Dekkers, Hiroyuki Takaya and Royler Gracie over the course of his 16-4-1 career.
However, in 2006 after a first-round triangle choke submission win over Damacio Page at the K-1 Premium Dynamite!! Event, Sudo delivered the shock news that he was retiring from the sport with immediate effect.
It transpired that Sudo had been suffering from a serious recurring neck injury that had left doctors fearing that he might suffer paralysis if he continued fighting.
After retiring, Sudo accepted a job as the manager of the Takushoku University’s wrestling team, while he’d also go on to appear in several movies and has written dozens of books.
Sudo also formed the music and dance band World Order, who have released several albums, performed around the world, been featured on numerous TV shows and have a YouTube channel with close to 100 million views.
Sudo retired from being the lead singer in the band back in 2015 but has remained involved as the director and producer for the group.