Mike “The Joker” Guymon talks about his decision to retire.
Mike Guymon has been an active fighter for eleven years, making his mixed martial arts debut in 1999.
He had thoughts of it before, but following his “UFC Fight Night 23: Fight for the Troops 2” loss to DaMarques Johnson, Guymon knew it was time to hang up the gloves and walk away from fighting.
“I had noticed some different things in training, like going on in my mind and how I was training and how I was fighting in training. The fight just proved it to myself that I need to step away,” Guymon told Heavy.com.
While in a rough patch of life, Guymon attempted suicide in August of 2009, and the medications he’s been placed on were a factor in his decision.
“A lot of it has to do with the type of medication that I’m on now. It stems from the incident that I had on August 10 a couple of years ago where I tried to take my life,” said the Californian. “I’m on all these mood stabilizers. They gave me a lot of stuff to take and it’s just really changed me. I don’t have that fire inside me. I’m always in training mode, not in fight mode.”
The former King of the Cage Welterweight Champion consulted medical professionals about changing medications, but the options had their drawbacks, especially for a fighter.
“I did, and my options were another medication that promotes a lot of weight gain, and I can’t have that. I fight at 170. I don’t want to be fighting at 220, you know. Or not take as much as I should be and run the risk of blowing a gasket like I did on August 10, (2009),” said Guymon.
The decision to retire was his to make, and he made it alone.
“I really didn’t talk to anybody. It’s me that the decision ultimately lays on,” Guymon said on “The Main Event with Jeff Cain.”
“It’s me out there fighting in a sport at such a high level where if you make a mistake it could be really bad for you. You know when you know, and I just know it’s time to step away and move on to greener pastures.”
At the end of the day, Guymon accomplished all he set out to in mixed martial arts.
“I accomplished all the goals I wanted to do in fighting,” he said. “It was win a pro fight, and then it win a title, fight on TV. Done that. Then it was get into the UFC. I did that, and then it was win in the UFC, and I did that. It’s like I’ve done it all and I feel great about it. I’m really up for the challenge now of trying to grow and build my academy and train students and put 100 percent into it.”
“I did so many years fighting and doing the gym and splitting my time between the two, and I think both suffered from me not concentration on either or,” said Guymon. “Now I finally, for once in my life, I get to focus expressly on teaching and training fighters. I’m really excited about it. At the same time, really nervous about it just because it’s just a huge life change, you know.”
Guymon says he’s “at peace” with the decision and looks to dedicate himself as a coach and trainer at his gym Joker’s MMA.
“I’d much rather focus on the training, teaching, step away from the sport. I’m old. I’m 36 years old. I don’t recover as well, and I’ll watch the young bucks go in there and tangle,” he said.
“I’m proud of all the victories that I had and I’m actually proud of all the fricken loses that I’ve had, you know. It’s a tough sport.”
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