Leaving the limelight at 44 is not unexpected for an athlete but heavyweight champion Randy Couture's sudden decision to quit the UFC exposes a few cracks in the slick veneer of the mixed martial arts powerhouse.
One visible scratch left by Couture on his way out of the UFC concerns money.
The lid has been lifted on player salaries in most major pro leagues in North America, either because of the need to fit within salary caps or because unions have decided that their membership benefit when the numbers are known.
Not at the UFC, a privately held company that keeps its financials close to its chest. President Dana White chafes about money questions, saying no one cares what people earn and his fighters are happy with their paycheques.