For Rich Clementi, pain is a part of everyday life. After 14 years as a pro fighter, his spine is in bad shape, his lumbar vertebrae “pretty much shot.” Bending over at the waist is difficult bordering on impossible some days. He wakes up each morning knowing that the hurt will only continue.

“The pain is pretty bad, to be honest,” the 37-year-old Clementi told MMAjunkie. “I’d put it between a 6 and an 8 (out of 10) on a daily basis.”

Clementi isn’t the only castmember from the UFC’s one and so far only “comeback” season of “The Ultimate Fighter” who’s hurting these days. Travis Lutter underwent a three-level fusion in his neck. Matt Serra had a rib removed. Jorge Rivera doesn’t bother trying to list all his injuries, but rather just laughs it off and says, “I’m all messed up. I’m starting to fall apart now.”

But that’s MMA retirement for you. What did you expect, a gold watch and a 401(k)? This isn’t that kind of life, and they knew that when they signed up for it.

Still, the “TUF 4″ fighters represent a class that straddled two different generations of MMA. Most have called it quits. A couple, like Patrick Cote and Pete Spratt, seem determined to fight on. But as the rest settle into life after MMA, they provide current fighters with a glimpse of the challenges, comforts, rewards and regrets that are waiting once they step out of the cage for good.

What does the retired life look like for the regular guys, the working class of MMA fighters who didn’t get multi-million dollar payouts or cushy do-nothing UFC jobs to ease their transition to civilian life? What does it tell us about the inevitable reality that most of today’s fighters will eventually confront, many of them a lot sooner than they think?



http://mmajunkie.com/2014/06/pugilis...ning-to-let-go