By just about any standard, Sean O’Connell had a good life.
The year was 2017 and he was just starting to get used to the idea that his MMA career was over. He had a job he enjoyed, talking sports on the radio in his home state of Utah. He was engaged to the woman he loved. He hadn’t thrown a punch for money since the previous year, when he exited the UFC on a three-fight losing skid and then entered what he would come to regard as a “pseudo-retirement.”
It was fine. He was in his mid-30s, so it was probably time anyway. He always knew he wasn’t going to fight forever, just like he always knew he’d probably never be the UFC light heavyweight champion.