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K.J. Noons says he would have retired if he had lost his UFC 166 fight

UFC lightweight K.J. Noons would have walked away from MMA if he had lost to George Sotiropoulos at UFC 166.

Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

Former EliteXC lightweight champion K.J. Noons had been on a slide lately, dropping five of six bouts between Strikeforce and the UFC going into the weekend. His UFC 166 bout with George Sotiropoulos was pretty much a must-win for him if he wanted to stay with the UFC. He did get that win by unanimous decision, but he told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani in a post-fight interview that he actually would have retired if he lost the bout:

"It feels awesome, all this hard work. This was must-win. If I would have lost, I would have retired. If you can't compete at the top, then why do it? It's tough, I got the new baby. I got a job, too. Online real estate. I was doing that and training. It's tough to do both. I can definitely build off this win for the next fight. If I'm not getting better, it's time to hang it up."

It's easy to understand this from a fighter like Noons that has dabbled in a bunch of different combat sports. Despite only being 31, it would definitely be tough to get to the top, have it taken away, and have to scratch and claw your back up there again. If he wanted to go out on his own terms, I commend him for that. Either way though, he did get the victory and we will see him in the octagon again soon.