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THE OLD MAN’S CLUB: BEST MMA FIGHTERS 35 & OVER

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Randy Couture may or may not have retired this week. He tweeted: “I think I’m at the end of it all”. But rumors persist that he wants to fight either Shogun Rua or Lyoto Machida. So until we get a definite answer, I’m saying “The Natural” will fight again in the Octagon. And he heads our list of the top MMA fighters over 35. Here they are in no particular order.

Randy Couture, 47

Randy Couture2The guy is 47 years old. 4-7. It’s kind of insane just how in shape he is — for any fighter — let alone one that is 47 years old. The Toney fight was an easy match. Does he want to go out that way? It doesn’t really matter. He’s the man. But plenty of fans want to see him back in the Octagon.


Anderson Silva, 35

Anderson SilvaThe UFC middleweight champion of the world turned 35 in April. He’s somewhat of an enigma when it comes to judging his desire, but he remains at the top of his game. Silva has won 13 straight fights and will defend his title against Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 in February.


Rich Franklin, 36

Rich FranklinThe move to light heavyweight seems to have given a Franklin some rejuvenation. He’s as solid and professional as they come, and always puts on entertaining fights. He will get Forrest Griffin at UFC 126. The light heavyweight division is stacked, but a win over Griffin keeps Franklin in the mix for a title shot, even if the possibility is slim.


Shane Carwin, 35

Shane CarwinCarwin will turn 36 in January and is coming off back surgery. The loss to Brock Lesnar was crushing for him, but he is still one of the top strikers in the heavyweight division. There are a number of great matchups for him out there, and he should be able to make another title run. Fight fans are hoping to see him back in the cage early in 2011.


Dan Henderson, 40

Dan HendersonHendo didn’t look all that good in his first Strikeforce fight against Jake Shields, and the “too old” cries started rolling in. But after knocking out Babalu in the first round just a few weeks ago, people are anxious to see him fight again. And Mauro wants to see “The H-Bomb” again.


Matt Hughes, 37

Hughes recently was KO’d by BJ Penn and started dropping retirement hints. I’m hoping he reconsiders because from his previous fights it’s obvious he has plenty left in the tank. His submission of Ricardo Almeida was simply amazing, and Hughes’ striking is vastly improved from his championship days.


Cung Le, 38

Cung LeThe kickboxer turned MMA fighter turned actor has fought just one time in each of the last three years. Making movies pays better and no one is trying to choke you unconscious. But Le should be back in the cage at some point in 2011. Would love to see him fight Robbie Lawler.


Mirko Cro Cop, 36

Cro CopCro Cop is currently serving a medical suspension until April of 2011, but we should see him again soon after that. His last fight against Frank Mir was somewhat uneventful, but his fight against Pat Barry was one of the more exciting bouts of the year. He seems to vacillate between saying he’s too old for MMA and not too old for MMA, so who knows what his plans are. I think most fans would like to see him continue to fight.


Chris Lytle, 36

Chris LytleLytle is “Mr. Bonus” in the UFC, having been the recipient of 7 fight bonuses. And the fun will continue when Lytle faces Carlos Condit at UFC 127. And he’s not all just stand and bang. His last 2 fights before his decision win over Matt Serra were submission victories over Matt Brown and Brian Foster.


Megumi Fujii, 36

Megumi FujiiFujii will skip entrance into the “Old Man’s Club”, but she deserves to be on this list. She just had one of the most impressive win streaks in MMA history stopped when she lost to Zoila Frausto at Bellator 34. Prior to that “Mega Megu” had won 22 straight fights with an amazing 17 wins by submission.


Honorable Mention: Sean Sherk, Sexyama, Joey Villasenor, Rick Hawn, Jeff Monson, Neil Grove, Trevor Prangley, Kevin Randleman, Ray Sefo, Bobby Southworth, Matt Lindland, Aaron Simpson, Vladimir Matushenko, Tito Ortiz, Cheick Kongo, Marcus Davis, Mike Guymon, Matt Serra, Jorge Rivera and Nate Quarry.

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