There are five athletes over the age of 35 who have the potential to be UFC champions
Here are five boxers over the age of 35 that could continue Glover Teixeira’s winning streak.
People tell you all the time that you’re just as old as you feel. If that’s the case, some of us have been 200 since we were nine years old. Others of us are approaching 60 and yet act as if we’re nine years old.
In any case, that’s a frightening thought, but it’s also true that the “age is simply how old you feel” mentality isn’t entirely false. Consider Glover Teixeira, the UFC’s light heavyweight champion, who will defend his championship for the first time at the age of 42 at UFC 275.
When that young man pulls it all together, he could be a force to be reckoned with when he grows up.
With modern medical training techniques, recuperation procedures, and a better awareness of how to use our bodies to their best potential, the image of a pro athlete retiring at 35 is no longer a reality.
Sure, some athletes have been able to extend their careers with the use of steroids, but it’s becoming more common for men to exceed expectations by outperforming their counterparts.
This can be seen in a variety of sports. Tom Brady is 45 years old, LeBron James is 37, and Justin Verlander is 39 years old and fresh off another Cy Young Award.
So it’s not shocking that Teixeira is 42 and in the middle of his first reign as UFC light heavyweight champion. In fact, we may see more first-time champions in the UFC in the not-too-distant future who aren’t quite 30 years old.
Here are five athletes over the age of 35 that have a chance to win a UFC belt.
Gilbert Burns – 35
Gilbert Burns is 35 years old, but he’ll be 36 in July, so I’ll count him. Burns is one of those welterweights that presents a matchup nightmare for the majority of his opponents.
He’s bigger, stronger, and faster than most males, and he’s a pain to deal with. He’s 1-2 in his past three, although he’s lost to Kamaru Uzman and Khamzat Chimaev, the resident crazy.
Easily the division’s top one and two most gifted players. Burns may be a champion in no time if he gets the perfect matchup and a good look.
Stephen Thompson – 39
To be sure, many of the people on this list are on the fence about receiving a shot or being left behind, but none more so than Stephen Thompson. He’s one of MMA’s top pure strikers, yet he suffers against superior grapplers.
He has the ability to protect himself, but he is stuffed. He’s 3-5 in his previous eight games, and the majority of his losses have come when he hasn’t been able to get his offense going. He’s still got it, but he’ll have to work his way through the appropriate crop of opponents if he wants another chance.
Thiago Santos – 38
Thiago Santos is arguably beyond his peak, having gone 1-3 since losing to Jon Jones, but he does have something going for him that could help him gain favor.
He’s a slam dunk machine. Santos merely needs to land the right shot to win any bout he enters. So, Santos is still dangerous even though he hasn’t fully recovered from his knee injury. He is still strong, which makes him dangerous.
Jared Cannonier – 38
It defies logic that Jared Cannonier, who is 38 years old and has fought his way through the middleweight category, is only now getting a crack at the middleweight title.
On July 2 at UFC 276 in Las Vegas, Cannonier will face middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, and he has a solid chance of winning.
Cannonier has the strength and technique to win a battle. Even though Cannonier isn’t as skilled as Adesanya, he has the strength to win UFC gold soon.
Uriah Hall – 37
Uriah Hall is the MMA equivalent of Lucy, carrying Charlie Brown’s football. Lucy yanks the ball away, and Sean Strickland beats him in a battle just when you think he’s finally put it all together.
As is customary for the Peanuts gang, While the middleweight class is perhaps the deepest in the UFC, it’s also the division with the least amount of distinction between top guys and mid-guys.
He’s 4-1 in his last five fights. Hall may easily find himself in a title bout if he knocks out two more opponents.