At one point or another, just about every great mixed martial artist has taken part in a legendary fight that has played a major role in defining their career and establishing a legacy.
Being involved in an instant classic certainly has its benefits, which often include a Fight of the Night bonus and increased notoriety among the MMA fanbase.
However, there are also some downsides that come with taking part in such a contest, including the physical and mental toll it can take on an athlete. After all, we have seen several epic bouts in which neither fighter was the same afterward.
In some cases, when both fighters take a considerable amount of damage, it's easy to understand why these athletes never fully return to form. Of course, there are also cases in which the reason for their respective declines aren't as apparent.
To illustrate the previous points, we are going to take a look at ten iconic fights that marked the beginning of the end (or at least a significant decline) for some of the biggest names to ever set foot inside the cage.
From 1999-2003 Jacques performed on the Florida independent pro wrestling circuit. He also has an amateur wrestling background and currently holds a certification in Krav Maga. Jacques graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2003, with a bachelor's degree in Political Science. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. Follow him on twitter @goodeals79.