You raise an interesting question: how much should an athlete be judged by his whole career, and how much by the time when he was at his best?If he had retired after the leg break, he would be thought of unquestioningly as the GOAT . . . period.
Like I've said, I know next to nothing about MMA, but as to the question posed, it's easier and quicker to name the athletes who didn't " hang on too long. " Jim Brown comes to mind immediately. Then there's the ones that hung on for a long time but still at an impressive level, say, Kareem. But they're the exceptions.You raise an interesting question: how much should an athlete be judged by his whole career, and how much by the time when he was at his best?
There are quite a few athletes who "hang on too long" and end up with a tail-end to their careers that are anti-climactic. Hey, it's their lives and their careers, and they don't "owe" us a timely retirement. But we do tend to respect someone who knows when to say "when". (And a guy who doesn't quit too early. It's complicated.)
I believe there are either Friday or Saturday night boxing fights on ESPN still.Probably a generational thing but I never got into MMA, UFC. I watched every boxing show, matches, that was put on free TV. From when I was a kid in the 60s until it started trailing off in the 90s. Friday some Saturday nights, Olympic bouts, everything. If it was on, no matter who it was, all other plans were canceled. As pay per view became more prevalent i hung in there for awhile but... Now if Friday night fights came back...