Where Are They Now? Eugene Jackson
By Kelsey Mowatt
For long time observers of mixed-martial-arts it may seem like yesterday that they read about Eugene “The Wolf” Jackson fighting Wanderlei Silva at International Vale Tudo 10 or witnessed the California fighter tapping out Keith Rockel at UFC 35, but in reality more than a decade has transpired. In fact, it’s already been nearly five years since Jackson closed the books on a career that saw him score wins over fellow MMA pioneers like Joe Doerksen and Ronald Jhun, and battle decorated fighters like Jeremy Horn and Ricardo Almeida. Well, when FCF caught up with the 44 year-old Jackson recently to get an update on how “The Wolf” is spending his days, it didn’t take long to discover that MMA is as central to his life as ever before. (Pictured: Eugene Jackson standing to the right of son Nikko and his championship belt; youngest son Casey is on the left)
“Right now I still work at the Gladiators school, I have one in East Palo Alto, and I’ve worked real heavy with Fairtex and the Undisputed Boxing Gym,” said Jackson, who retired after Joe Riggs ended his three fight winning streak in September, 2007. “So I work with a lot of amateur fighters that are trying to go pro and I’m trying to get into managing certain pro fighters.”
Where Are They Now? Maurice Smith
While MMA fans may remember Maurice Smith best for his thrilling, head kick win over Marcus Silveira at Extreme Fighting 3, defeating the seemingly unstoppable Mark Coleman at UFC 14, or returning to action in 2007 and stopping Marco Ruas for the second time, the decorated fighter could add to that list just yet. Recently Smith revealed to FCF that he intends on returning to action sometime this year, contravening any notion that the former UFC heavyweight champion is retired.
“I’m trying to do a couple more fights,” said Smith, who has also battled other MMA legends like Bas Rutten, Ken Shamrock and Randy Couture during his lengthy career. “I want to fight two more years, maybe six more fights; then I want to retire.”
Where Are They Now? Dave “Dangerous” Beneteau
It’s been ten years since Dave “Dangerous” Beneteau last competed, over fifteen since he made his Octagon debut at UFC 5, and the 44 year-old Canadian is the first to admit that he still isn’t completely over fighting. While Beneteau has successfully transitioned into a career in law, first practicing as a criminal defense lawyer and now as a corporate attorney, the retired fighter continues to turn to MMA for his competitive fix.
“I think I probably speak for a lot of guys in many sports, you don’t ever willingly accept retirement,” said Beneteau, who stopped Todd Medina and Asbel Cancio at UFC 5 in April, 1995, before being submitted by Dan Severn. “I think it’s something where common sense at some point has to prevail over the reality that your body isn’t what it used to be…You have to think realistically whether you can beat some of the better guys in the world, and if the answer is questionable, you have to start thinking about plan B.”