Time catches up to every fighter in the end, but while it’s more common to see star’s gradually fade away and retire in their mid-to-late 30’s, there are some who seem to defy the aging process and extend their careers well into the next decade of their lives.
That’s no mean feat in sport that takes such a toll on the human body, and as such, in this article we’ll celebrate 10 actively competing veteran stars in their 40’s who are still a serious threat in the cage, proving that age really is just a number.
Note: Brock Lesnar and Fabricio Werdum were omitted from this article due to recent drug test failures and uncertainty over their fighting futures.
No.10: Chael Sonnen
When Chael Sonnen was hammered with a two year suspension from MMA following a failed drug test in the UFC it appeared as if ‘The American Gangster’s’ career had come to an unseemly ending, but after serving his time Sonnen opted to rekindle his career in his late 30’s with the Bellator promotion.
His comeback fight after over three years on the sidelines early last year didn’t go to plan, losing out by submission to Tito Ortiz in the first round, but after turning 40 just a few months later he got back in the cage and comfortably defeated his bitter rival Wanderlei Silva by decision.
Following on from that the middleweight made a bold decision to step up to heavyweight for Bellator’s grand-prix in 2018 and managed to defeat another veteran star Quinton ‘Rampage ‘Jackson by decision.
He’s since turned 41 and lost in the semi-finals of the tournament to Fedor Emelianenko, but with Tito Ortiz now talking up a potential rematch it looks like there’s still some miles left on Sonnen’s clock.