Zach Arnold calls for Matt Lindland, Scott Smith to retire


The immediate reaction to my thoughts about both Scott Smith and Matt Lindland needing to retire is that Smith should get a pass as long as he goes back to Middleweight, but that yes, Matt should call it a career. I think an argument can be made for both. Smith suffered yet another brutal knockout in his career, this time at the hands of Paul Daley. Lindland also suffered a sub-one minute KO loss to Robbie Lawler who was in target practice mode the entire time. Given the relative weakness Scott Coker has displayed in the past in standing up to fighters, I expect both men to continue getting booked. Realistically, they shouldn’t be booked for any more bouts after tonight’s showing in St. Louis.

The accumulation of punishment that both Smith and Lindland have endured over the span of their MMA careers is remarkable. They should not get future bookings simply because watching them get knocked out is fun or entertaining. This is a violent sport and it’s a sport where fighters figure out the realities of their careers and health way too late after the fact when the damage is already done.

I get it. MMA writers, for the most part, shouldn’t think they are entitled to tell a fighter who puts his health on the line in a fight to be an arbiter as to when that fighter should hang up the gloves. However, the body of evidence for both Smith and Lindland to call it quits before they suffer permanent brain damage is mounting fast.

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In a post fight interview Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said of Scott retiring:

"I am going to sit down with (manager) Mike Roberts and Scott, and see what they want to do. That was a scary knock out. I am not saying he should retire. But I think he has to have a conversation and see what is he going to change, what is going to be different ... we're going to have to have a conversation "

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Recent Comments »

jensapw site profile image  

12/6/10 5:05 PM by jensapw

Lindland should retire. The only fights of his I enjoy are when he gets KTFO. I was so glad when he was no longer appearing in UFC's. Never forgave him for not admitting to tapping with Busta.

nobones site profile image  

12/5/10 5:53 PM by nobones

I guarantee you both Smith and Lindland have dealt with issues after their fights due to those knockouts. The brain was simply not meant to deal with that kind of trauma at all. If you get away with a concussion once in your life count yourself lucky. Multiple concussions is like playing Russian Roulette where the consequence can be a compromised quality of life, paralysis or death. Neither Lindland or Smith will ever talk to anyone about walking up at night to migraines, or forgetting people's faces, or having trouble understanding street signs or getting blurry vision during the day. Those are secrets they will keep to themselves and tell themselves with more workouts and a healthy diet these problems will solve themselves. Look at Alan Belcher. He had symptoms of a detached retina for over a year and ignored them. He was having black spots appear in his vision in the middle of the day for no reason and just kept it to himself pretty much. Then one day it all fell apart.Don't think any of these guys that take repeated punishment like this are 'ok'. They have secret problems they tell no one about.

superCalo site profile image  

12/5/10 5:44 PM by superCalo

His body has always looked like that.

Oddessa site profile image  

12/5/10 5:42 PM by Oddessa

 agree...but ... i thinkif a person say it out of concern and its genuine...harm no no foul...or  the people close to them EX: I think Chuck/Dana or Dibella/Jermaine Taylor is genuine concern when they could still earn off the fighters if they wanted to be pigs...

Chimonos Revenge site profile image  

12/5/10 5:42 PM by Chimonos Revenge

I would agree.Wookie doesnt have it anymore, his chin is shot.Hasnt won a quality fight in a long time, and just looks like his body is old and tired.

superCalo site profile image  

12/5/10 5:40 PM by superCalo

The slurring the speech is not necessarily a give away either, some people are just drunk most of the time.

ABE FROMAN site profile image  

12/5/10 5:38 PM by ABE FROMAN

 I hate 'they should retire' threads. If they aren't slurring their speech then who are you to tell them when to stop?

sickdarce site profile image  

12/5/10 5:33 PM by sickdarce

Smith should retire, he takes way to much punishment.

Oddessa site profile image  

12/5/10 5:27 PM by Oddessa

Me too..only guy I can lose money when guys bet against him yet still  take extreme pleasure in seeing him get KTFO despite the monetary losses... RIP Evan Tanner

superCalo site profile image  

12/5/10 5:11 PM by superCalo

If Lindland was not hit so hard and in the exact right place he could well have taken Lawler down and proceeded to destroy him on the ground for a easy win, that being the case why should he retire if he beat a top guy like Lawler, it makes no sense at all