By Jonathan Solomon
Saturday was a night to say farewell to Strikeforce as the promotion closed its doors and we may have seen the last of Mike “MAK” Kyle in a cage.
He was choked out by Gegard Mousasi with a rear naked choke at 4:09 of the first round in Oklahoma City and had retirement on his mind in the aftermath. MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani tweeted, “Mike Kyle just walked by me seconds after losing to Gegard Mousasi and said, ‘It’s not in me anymore. That was my last one.’”
The 32-year-old would not be the first fighter to consider leaving the sport behind after a disappointing defeat. Over the past two years alone, welterweights Nick Diaz and B.J. Penn have each said they were done after losing fights in the UFC, only to return. Whether “MAK” was considering moving on in his life prior to stepping into the cage this weekend or not may hold the answer to his ultimate intentions.
A member of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, if he calls it a career, his final record is 19-9-1 with two no contests.
Kyle is infamous for one of the most disgusting acts in American MMA history. At WEC 20 in 2006, he challenged then-heavyweight champion Brian Olsen in California. Almost four minutes into the opening round, Kyle inexplicably hit him in the head with an illegal soccer kick and threw several punches while referees attempted to stop him. In the aftermath, he was suspended indefinitely and did not return until 22 months later after being submitted by Wayne Cole in Strikeforce.
He had also developed a reputation for being a dirty fighter after multiple questionable actions in which he purposefully finger pokedopponents in the eye, kneed Justin Eilers in the groin and bit Wes Sims.
Since 2009, Kyle has split time between light heavyweight and heavyweight and went 7-3-0 (2 NC). He won the first championship of his career in King of the Cage when he defeated Tony Lopez by decisionat 205-pounds and followed it up with another championship months later in Australia.
If not for Rafael Cavalcante failing a drug test last spring, Kylewould end his career on a 1-3 stretch instead of a 1-2 (1 NC) run. His UFC record is 2-1 with his last fight in the octagon happening at UFC 51 when he knocked out James Irvin and his Strikeforce record will close at 3-4-1 (1 NC).
What are your thoughts?