Sometimes a loss is just a loss; a bump in the road, to be taken for what it is and moved on from. Time and again you hear fighters say "it sucks to lose, but I'll come back stronger" or some variation. That's not the tune Eddie Wineland is singing, following a knockout loss to Johnny Eduardo at UFC Fight Night Brown vs. Silva. The loss was the first for Wineland since dropping his title bout against Renan Barao and only the third KO loss of his career (arguably his first clean KO loss). But, it's also the second time his jaw has been broken.
The first injury came against Brandon Carlson, all the way back in 2004, and it saw Wineland sitting on the shelf for 10 months. As tough as it must have been to go through that injury layoff, it sounds like something that Wineland is looking forward to even less the second time around. He spoke with MMAJunkie about his future, and the fact that fighting may not be a part of it.
"I never wanted to go through this again, and now I surely don’t ever want to go through it again," Wineland said. "It was the most miserable time of my life."
"I’ve got some serious thinking to do," he said. "I’m just not so sure the juice is worth the squeeze. I just need to take a step back and look at the big picture."
It's hard to argue with Wineland's take on this situation. He's been a champion, back when the bantamweight title was a WEC product, and he's had a consistently strong enough career to work himself all the way back to a shot at the UFC's version of the belt. He's been fighting for 11 years now and 32 fights. Fourteen of those fights have come at the highest level of the sport. He has a second career already, as a full time firefighter. And at only 29 years old, he has enough time to make a nice long career out of that. The decision to retire is ultimately Wineland's to make, but I wouldn't blame him if he decided that it was time to move on. Either way he'll have a good long while to think about it as he waits for his jaw to heal.