This past decade, the sport of mixed martial arts lost several very talented fighters.
The stories of the men who have sadly died over the last ten years often remind us of the hardships these athletes face both in and outside of the cage.
Sure, we all know that MMA is a brutal sport. After all, a fighter's ultimate goal when competing is to incapacitate another human being. However, it's easy to forget the lifestyle that often comes with being a professional mixed martial artist can be every bit as dangerous as the fights themselves.
With that in mind, we are going to pay tribute to a group of former UFC fighters who passed away in the 2010s.
This diverse list features everything from former UFC champions to guys who only hardcore fans will likely remember. Regardless of how their careers turned out, each fighter had their own unique journey that they allowed fight fans to be a small part of.
10. Sherman Pendergarst
Sherman 'The Tank' Pendergarst was a heavyweight fighter out of Baltimore, Maryland. He was an outstanding athlete in high school who would go on to wrestle at that collegiate level for Old Dominion University.
After college, 'The Tank' began training at the Miletich Fighting Systems camp, which produced several former UFC champions, including Matt Hughes and Robbie Lawler.
Pendergarst's career got off to a nice start, and after amassing a solid 8-3 record, he would get his chance to fight in the UFC in 2006. The former college wrestler made his promotional debut at UFC 65, where he took on Antoni Hardonk. However, things didn't go so well for Pendergarst, who suffered a TKO loss (via leg kicks) midway through the first round. The bout with Hardonk would be his only fight in the UFC.
The Baltimore native fought on for roughly five more years but struggled to get his career back on track. His professional record would end up being 11-18 (1).
In 2011, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Despite the diagnosis, the ultra-tough heavyweight competed one last time before succumbing to the illness in July of 2012 at the age of 45.
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.