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Retired UFC vet 'Joker' Guymon relaunches career in new promotion, new weight class

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Bubbles

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Almost a year ago to the day, Mike "Joker" Guymon suffered a submission loss to DaMarques Johnson at UFC Fight Night 23 and announced his retirement from the sport.

Guymon, now 37, said well-documented mental problems manifested themselves into physical issues.

But now, in better mental health and with his competitive fire stoked, he's returning to MMA in both a new weight class and a new promotion.

...

"It was awkward," he told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). "You'd always have something to look ahead to like fighting here or doing this or getting ready for this guy. And then all of the sudden, you realize you don't have to do any of that stuff, and there's no more pressure on you.

"It feels wonderful, but it also feels like you're missing something. Personally, I'm a competitor, and I've always been a competitor. Not having that, it definitely felt awkward."

So what changed for the fan favorite? It's complicated, of course. In fact, his situation is doubly complicated when considering his well-documented suicide attempt in 2009. With stress at home, stress with his business, and stress with his fighting career, Guymon planned to check out permanently. However, his wife and a family friend ultimately talked him out of it after a standoff with police, and Guymon underwent a psychiatric evaluation and continued to get the help he needed.

...

"I feel like the last couple of fights, I cheated everywhere," he said. "I cheated the UFC, I cheated fans, and I cheated my friends because I was going in their not being able to shift it into the next gear. I couldn't get that fire, couldn't get that drive.

"I regret a lot of stuff about those last two fights. I could've asked for time, and they would've given it to me, but I just wanted to get in there and fight. I've never been one to turn down any type of fight. But I just feel like I shortchanged them."

...

"We figured out a way to wean me off the medication," he said. "I will be right back where I was with that competitive fire and that don't-quit attitude. I feel good like this, and it just feels right.

"I had been trying to figure out the mental stuff in the medication, and that's a big reason I decided to take time off. But now I'm back."

...

"It's another thing to fire me up to really buckle down," he said. "At the end of fighting [in the UFC], I was cutting corners on the diet, cutting corners on the training and on the cardio, the biking and running. Actually I cut out running for a long time. But now making that decision to cut down to lightweight, I can't cut any corners.

"I have to eat perfect. I have to train correctly. I have to add in all that cardio I used to do. ... The main thing I need to focus on just keeping my head on square. I think I'm going to give a lot of people a lot of trouble it that weight."

Guymon, who's now walking around at 172 pounds, said he'll get as light to 163 to 165 pounds before he'll simply need to cut water weight on the week of the fight. He's refocused, re-energized, rejuvenated. He's happy and motivated and healthy.

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Post #1   1/24/12 4:42:36PM   

Budgellism

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In my opinion it's too little too late for him. He's 37 and I honestly don't see him being able to beat any Lightweight in the top 25. Good for him though. I can imagine it wasn't an easy decision for him to come back.

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Post #2   1/24/12 4:47:14PM   

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ive met Guymon, and i instantly became a fan. after hearing all hes gone through and to make it to the UFC, albeit not a good run, you cant not be happy for him. hopefully a drop to LW will get him some wins to end his career on a high note this time

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Post #3   1/24/12 4:48:21PM   

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Posted by Budgellism

In my opinion it's too little too late for him. He's 37 and I honestly don't see him being able to beat any Lightweight in the top 25. Good for him though. I can imagine it wasn't an easy decision for him to come back.



he will be fighting in some local promotions in California and may get a call from BAMMA. not the creme of the crop, but still somewhere for him to potentially get a couple more wins

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The best cure for insomnia is a lot of sex. Even if it doesn't end up putting you to sleep, you don't mind so much

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Post #4   1/24/12 4:50:20PM   

shaneTpain

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I like Guymon

Post #5   1/24/12 6:53:35PM