Posts Tagged ‘Possible Retirement’

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Michael Bisping’s days in 4-ounce gloves are numbered.

In a Monday appearance on “The MMA Hour,” the UFC middleweight champion revealed his upcoming date with Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 might be his last.

“There’s a possibility this might be my last fight. I don’t know if I’ll ever fight again after this,” Bisping said. “What a way to go out if it is.

“I don’t know. We’ll see. We’ll see what the future holds. There’s a possibility, yeah. This may be my last fight, so if anyone wants to see Michael Bisping get knocked out, this is your last chance to do it, guys.”

The 38-year-old Brit won the title with a first-round KO of Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, a decade into his promotional stint and a dozen years into his 37-fight career after battling injuries and rebounding from several failed attempts to earn a title shot. In January, he publicly mulled hanging up his gloves following two more wins, but going out on top against the greatest welterweight of all time – at Madison Square Garden, no less – is not outside the realm of possibility.

“I’ve done it for so long. I’ve done it for so long now, and there’s other things to do in life,” Bisping said. “I mean, I still love this, don’t get me wrong, but you can’t do it forever. You can’t do it forever, and Georges should’ve stayed retired. He should’ve retired as a champion. I’m going to beat Georges and I’ll retire as a champion – maybe – I haven’t made my mind up on that yet. It depends, if there’s enough money involved, maybe I’ll stick around, but as of right now, I don’t know.”

Bisping said his inner circle has been urging him to retire for some time. With a regular gig on the UFC’s FOX Sports 1 desk and a career on both the big and small screen, he’s far better prepared for post-Octagon life than most, although he maintained retiring with a win at MSG would maximize those revenue streams.

He welcomes St-Pierre to the middleweight division Nov. 4 in the main event of a star-studded UFC 217.

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Jaromir Jagr may not be a part of the NHL this year, but that doesn’t mean hockey fans won’t have at least one graybeard to fawn over.

Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara enters the coming campaign as one of just two 40-year-olds – the other being Minnesota Wild center Matt Cullen – and while he’s had a prolific 19-year career, Chara doesn’t see 2017-18 as his swan song.

“I definitely want to play beyond this season,” Chara told Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com. “It’s really hard to put a number on it. Some people do and some people don’t. I just obviously want to keep playing beyond this season.

“I love this game too much. I have made no secrets about it. I want to stay here and continue to play.”

While Chara may have his sights set on the years ahead, there are no guarantees he’ll play beyond 2017-18. That’s because he’s entering the season on the final year of a seven-year deal he signed in 2011.

Still, earning a contract extension will be only part of his focus this season.

“I love the game. I love everything about it. I love the sacrifice and I love the training. There are so many things that are so positive,” Chara added. “At my age, I look at what I can still do and just really enjoy it. I just want to keep improving and play for as long as I can.”

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Aaron Rodgers won’t be going anywhere for as long as Green Bay will have him.

Discussing his future with reporters Thursday, the Packers‘ star quarterback touched on the allure of potentially playing his entire career in Title Town. In doing so, he made reference to a trio of legends from other sports who’ve donned just one uniform.

“It’s being a sports fan and watching some of my favorite all-time players either not finish in the place they started or the place where you fell in love watching them play – or they did,” Rodgers said, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.

“And seeing how different the memory is of those players as a fan, and seeing some of my favorite players growing finishing up now or have finished up in the last two or three years – the Derek Jeters, the Kobe Bryants, the Tim Duncans – doing it their entire career in one place, that makes things pretty special. So again, I’m a realist as well. I have to play well, the team has to want to bring me back, but I’ve said I’d like to finish things here where we started.”

Rodgers reiterating his desire to remain with the Packers for the entirety of his pro career came on the same day that fellow superstar Tom Brady turned 40 years old.

Can Rodgers, now 33, be the next quarterback to defy the odds and continue into that age range?

“I do think it’s realistic,” he said. “I hope it’s in this locker room, though. That would mean it’s been at a high level. Like I said, hopefully Dec. 2 of 2024 – help me out, 2023. Thank you.”

A first-round pick in the 2005 draft, Rodgers sat behind Brett Favre for three seasons before finally getting his opportunity to step in.

He hasn’t looked back in the nine years since, posting a 90-45 record over 135 starts, leading Green Bay to the Super Bowl XLV title and making a case for himself as one of the best quarterbacks the game has ever seen.

The Packers would undoubtedly be thrilled to have Rodgers stick around and even begin to approach Brady’s mind-boggling longevity.

 NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
 

The end of Philip Rivers‘ illustrious career is looming, but the star quarterback is hoping to stick around long enough with the Chargers to play in their new stadium in Los Angeles, which is set to open in three years.

Rivers told NFL Network’s Rich Eisen that he has no plans to walk away from football anytime soon, despite the move away from San Diego.

“I hope to still be playing football in 2020, and certainly I hope I’m still playing here,” Rivers said, according to ESPN’s Eric D. Williams. “So yeah, I hope to get to see that stadium then. That’s a long way out. I’ve learned to just take them one year at a time and one game at a time at this point. I’m certainly thankful I’ve been able to be out there for all of them since 2006.

“I don’t take that for granted. And hopefully I’m still playing well enough and we’ve won enough football games that I will be able to trot out there in 2020 in that new stadium.”

Rivers will turn 39 near the end of the 2020 season, and while his physical skills have begun to show signs of decline, his style is suited to a career that extends into his 40s if he wishes.

And while Rivers’ loyalty to San Diego means the relocation to L.A. has likely been a tough adjustment, the veteran pivot is excited for a new challenge at this stage of his playing days.

“I really am excited about embracing this chapter, both from an organizational standpoint and then personally in my career,” Rivers said. “It’s a new market and new fan base. I do think over time, at least it seems like more and more of the fans that we’ve had that are in San Diego are kind of getting more and more warmed up and excited.

“I’ve had a bunch of people tell me, ‘We’re coming up and we’ll be up there for a game.’ I think if we can get it going we truly can be – and I know the Rams are already up there – but it’s kind of Southern California’s team right there in L.A.”

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Aaron Rodgers may not be planning to end his career soon, but he’s willing to admit it’s closer to the end than it is to the beginning.

The 33-year-old has hinted before that he would like to play into his 40s, which is still on the table as he didn’t endure the typical wear and tear at the beginning of his career.

“I think I’m on the back nine of my career,” Rodgers told NFL Network on Tuesday. “But I think I’m just kind of starting the back nine. This will be my 10th year starting, I got to sit for three years. So I’m not the typical 13-year pro, having the opportunity to sit for three years and not take the wear and tear to learn the game.”

Rodgers famously had to wait behind Brett Favre before he was able to take over as the Green Bay Packers starting quarterback – a position he would like to hold until his time as a pro is up.

“I think we all have numbers,” Rodgers said. “When I was a young player, I remember thinking as I looked at some of the older guys, if I got to five that’d be cool, or eight, or anything after 10 would be amazing.

“For me, I think the longevity is tied to being a Green Bay Packer. I’d like to finish my career in Green Bay.”

Despite his extended redshirt period, Rodgers has had historical success in the league. He is just three scores away from becoming the 11th passer ever to throw for 300 touchdowns, while throwing only 72 interceptions in the process.

Rodgers will likely get at least one more contract with the Packers if his prediction is correct, with his current deal expiring after the 2019 season.

NHL: New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) Sidney Crosby said Wednesday he did not pay attention to those questioning whether he should continue playing hockey after suffering another concussion during the playoffs.

Crosby was too focused on capturing another Stanley Cup for his Pittsburgh Penguins to worry about outside opinions on his health.

”I don’t really read or listen to that stuff during the playoffs,” Crosby told reporters at his annual hockey camp in his hometown of Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia.

Crosby has suffered multiple concussions during his career, including one during Game 3 of the second round against Washington in May. He missed one game before returning for Game 5, prompting questions about whether he should consider retirement.

The Penguins went on to win a second straight Cup, defeating the Nashville Predators in the final.

Crosby said he understands why concussions generate so much controversy.

”It’s a hot topic,” he said. ”That’s the nature of it right now.”

He said more information on how to deal with head injuries is becoming available all the time.

”You have to continue to listen to your body to make sure before you go back that you’re good to go,” he said. ”There’s things in place to help with that.”

NFL: New York Giants at San Diego Chargers

Entering his 14th season in the NFL, Philip Rivers has put together a potential Hall of Fame-worthy career.

While the Los Angeles Chargers quarterback doesn’t plan on ending his run soon, he’ll walk away from the game if he’s no longer able to contribute on the field.

“I don’t want hang on at the end and just be a guy that’s hanging on,” Rivers told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on his podcast. “But if I still feel like I can help a team and I enjoy it the way I do and more importantly, if the team feels that I can help them. …

“I don’t see myself shutting it down any time real soon.”

Rivers, 35, has three years remaining on his current contract and hasn’t been discouraged from continuing with the Chargers as they relocate to Hollywood this season.

“I’m excited about the challenge and the newness and the unknown that’s going to come with being in a new community and playing in a new stadium,” said Rivers. “But we’re going to still have that bolt on my helmet and I’m excited about what’s ahead.”

Rivers has a plan once he does finally decide to end his playing career, however, as he hopes to coach his sons’ high school football teams. Though, that could be some time away considering that his oldest boy is only 9 years old.