Khabib Nurmagomedov and Other Big Names We May Not See in the UFC in 2021

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December 23, 2020 6:59 pm

As the 2020 UFC season draws to a close, so do the careers of certain fighters. While some fighters have taken a voluntary step back, some of them have been released from their contracts with the promotion. Some might even surprise us with a return, but they stay dormant as of now.

Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent names that left the UFC this year.

Anderson Silva

The former UFC middleweight champion and arguably one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the UFC octagon was released from his contract this year. Silva sang his swan song against Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night in November.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 31: (L-R) Anderson Silva of Brazil kicks Uriah Hall of Jamaica in a middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 31, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Anderson Silva suffered a loss and was released from his contract with a professional record that currently stands at 34-11-0. Though the 45-year-old hasn’t confirmed his retirement, it seems like it’s about time for him to hang his gloves for good.

Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders will be parting ways with the UFC for the third time now. He currently holds a record of 22-13-2 and will now no longer be with the promotion as he has been released from his contract after a 4-fight losing skid.

UTICA, NY – JUNE 01: (L-R) Ben Saunders reacts after finishing Jake Ellenberger in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at the Adirondack Bank Center on June 1, 2018 in Utica, New York. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

He used to fight in the Welterweight division of the promotion and most recently went up against and lost to Matt Brown by second-round KO at UFC 245.

Corey Anderson

Former UFC fighter Corey Anderson made a promotional switch and now fights in the light heavyweight division of Bellator. A grave health scare and a few wise words from Daniel Cormier were the reasons behind this switch.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 02: Corey Anderson reacts after his TKO victory over Johnny Walker of Brazil in their light heavyweight bout during the UFC 244 event at Madison Square Garden on November 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

He left with two fights remaining in his contract. In his last outing, he went up against and lost to Jan Blachowicz at the main event of UFC Fight Night 167. Anderson left with a professional record of 14-5-0.

Daniel Cormier

A man that has been around for as long as anyone can remember, Daniel Cormier, has retired. He is a former two divisional champion who held belts in both the heavyweight division and light heavyweight division.

He retired after his loss to Stipe Miocic at their second meeting inside the octagon. It was in contention for the heavyweight crown, and two weeks after his loss he announced that he would no longer be fighting on his show with ESPN.

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 03: Daniel Cormier of the United States celebrates his victory over Derrick Lewis of the United States in their heavyweight title bout during the UFC 230 event at Madison Square Garden on November 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

Cormier left the ring with a professional record that currently stands at 22-3-0. The UFC great still maintains ties with the promotion, as he works as a commentator and is actively involved in his show with Ariel Helwani as well.

Henry Cejudo

Henry Cejudo decided to go out on top. He left as a two divisional champion after his first defense as the 135lbs champion. Cejudo went up against Dominick Cruz at the main event of UFC 249, and in the end, announced his retirement from the sport.

Though this came as a surprise to most of the fans, he says he has done enough in the sport and is happy leaving at the top.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – MAY 09: Henry Cejudo poses for a portrait backstage after his victory during the UFC 249 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 09, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)

There has been quite a bit of speculation about him returning, but with no conformation so far, Henry Cejudo remains retired from the sport.

Charles Byrd

11-year veteran Charles Byrd announced his retirement from the sport after his TKO loss to Maki Pitolo. He left with a professional record that currently stands at 10-7 MMA, 1-3 UFC. He was a contest on the inaugural season of Dana White’s Contender Series.

LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 11: Charles Byrd stands in the octagon prior to his middleweight bout with Jamie Pickett during Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series at the TUF Gym on July 11, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/DWTNCS)

Khabib Nurmagomedov

The current #1 pound for pound ranked fighter in the world, Khabib Nurmagomedov, retired from the sport with a professional record of 29-0-0. He went out with a successful lightweight title defense against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 07: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia celebrates his submission victory over Dustin Poirier in their lightweight championship bout during UFC 242 at The Arena on September 7, 2019 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

This was his first, and also last, fight without his father in his corner. Making a promise to his mother and being a man of his word, Khabib Nurmagomedov left his gloves in the octagon as a symbol of his retirement from the sport.

Quite literally the greatest fighter the sport has seen to this date, this is one retirement that will leave a pit in the heart of every hardcore MMA fan.

Peter Sobotta

Peter Sobotta retired from the sport after his third loss in over a decade. He took his final loss via a unanimous decision against Alex Oliveira at UFC on ESPN 14. He used to fight in the welterweight division of the UFC and holds a professional record currently at 17-7-1 MMA, 4-6 UFC.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (L-R) Peter Sobotta of Poland punches Alex Oliveira of Brazil in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Stevie Ray

Stevie ray announced his retirement from all forms of MMA competition via Facebook live. He last competed in October 2019 and retired despite having signed a 4-fight contract with the promotion. He won his last bout against Michael Johnson with a majority decision.

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – OCTOBER 26: Stevie Ray of United Kingdom celebrates his victory over Michael Johnson in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Singapore Indoor Stadium on October 26, 2019 in Singapore. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Deciding to prioritize his physical well-being over a paycheck, Ray took the decision to retire from the sport. He left with a professional record of 23-9-0.

Ricardo Lamas

Ricardo Lamas called it a career after 12 years of professional competition. He said he had been contemplating retirement since 2017 and finally made the decision after his unanimous-decision win over Bill Algeo.

CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 08: Ricardo Lamas prepares to enter the Octagon prior to his featherweight bout against Calvin Kattar during the UFC 238 event at the United Center on June 8, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)Kha

The tipping point of his career came back in 2014 when he contested for the UFC featherweight title against Jose Aldo at UFC 169. Though he fell short on that day, he continued to have a great run even after this. His current record stands at 20-8-0.

All in all, though 2020 was a rocky year for the world at large, the UFC managed to come through with some great moments. What will be your lasting memory of these fighters that you might never get to see compete ever again?

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