Some fighters are fortunate, and have their day in the sun when the sun is brightest and unobscured by clouds. Others are less fortunate – their day comes when it’s dark and overcast. Sadly, Bart Palaszewski was the latter. But he was a badass for a while there, and since he announced his official retirement from the sport on Friday, and garnered minimal accolades or even recognition for his accomplishments, it’s high time we pay him some respect.

When last we saw “Bartimus” in the cage, he was on a pretty severe losing skid in the Octagon. Sure, he knocked out Tyson Griffin at his UFC debut at UFC 137, but after that it was a trio of losses, with the last one – against Cole Miller at the TUF 17 Finale in April – signaling the end of Palaszewski’s time with the organization.

However, if that’s all you saw of Palaszewski, then you missed out. In the span of 53 fights (he retired with a record of 36-17), he had some wars.

Here’s one that took place at a SuperBrawl in Hawaii in 2004:

Palaszweski was a Midwest guy who hailed from Pat Miletich’s school, back when the place was a champ factory. He was well-rounded and could fight anywhere, but his best quality was that he was tough as nails.

While the UFC was gaining steam with their new reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter, opportunities arose in other places for fighters , with one such avenue of employment being the International Fight League. In case you don’t remember, the IFL was a farce of manufactured team branding, but there were some solid and entertaining matches, and as the star lightweight of Miletich’s clan (they were called the Midwest Woodchuck’s or something), Palaszewski was the man to beat. And for a while, no one could.

Of course, all good streaks must come to an end, and Bartimus’ was brought about by the likes of Chris Horodecki (via a pair of crap decisions), a questionable armbar loss to Deividas Taurosevicius, and a convincing decision loss to the up-and-coming Jim Miller.

The WEC was pretty much Palaszewski’s next home, and his results there were mixed. He lost to Ricardo Lamas and Anthony Njokuani, yet somehow beat Anthony Pettis. When the WEC was absorbed into the UFC, things only got tougher for him.

Palaszewski’s first fight was in January of 2002, so his career can be considered a lengthy one. He never really took too much damage, never really had to be carried out on a stretcher and asked what day it was. He was just a hard, experienced dude who gave us a lot of good fights.

For that, we owe him thanks.