So much for a comeback.
"I've had my ups and downs in this sport," said Vazquez, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., who is building a new gym in his hometown. "I have a family now, I have a wife … and I'm better suited right now as a coach than I am as a fighter."
"It's just that time. I think when this sport feels like it's your job, like you're clocking in, it's time to go," declared Vazquez as he wiped tears from his face.
The 31-year-old lightweight, an occasional Sherdog.com contributor, has a long history of injuries, and recently took a 28-month layoff to nurse three anterior cruciate ligament tears in his aching right knee.
Vazquez, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, made quick work of the 28-year-old Pennington (12-4-1) with a one-armed rear-naked choke at the 1:15 mark of round one.
Perhaps best remembered for his bout with Alberto Crane (Pictures) in February 2003 during which Vazquez dropped a gutsy split-decision after shredding his ACL just seconds into the bout, "Showtime" leaves the sport with a respectable 12-2-0 record.
Despite the display of heart against Crane, pundits and fans in the know will point to his upset victory of Rumina Sato (Pictures) in 2002 as his greatest in-cage achievement.
The ProElite-promoted ShoXC main event featured a battle of undefeated light heavyweights, as Jared Hamman (Pictures) outclassed Team Punishment's Aaron Rosa (Pictures).
After surviving a flash knockdown from a Rosa right hand early in the bout, Hamman recovered to take the first round on the Sherdog.com scorecard by capitalizing on multiple takedowns with effective striking from the mount and back position.
In the second frame, Hamman (9-0-0) continued his rhythm on the ground and forced Rosa, 24, to tap to a rear-naked choke. Elbows to the face and knees targeting Rosa's midsection prompted the now 9-1-0 light heavyweight to give up his back.
"That was a good fight man, holy smokes," said the 25-year old Hamman. "Normally I wouldn't go for the choke, but he has a long neck so I went for it."
Muay Thai fighter Malaipet MTA was methodical in his three-round domination of Kaleo Kwan en route to a unanimous decision victory.
The 26-year-old Malaipet, 2-1-0, fired his right leg at Kwan's left shin over and over for 15-minutes while mixing in the occasional body kick and punch from the outside. Kwan, 34, now 5-7-0 with the defeat, fought on despite the abuse but was unable to mount any offense save for a knee to the midsection followed by a right hand midway through the final period.
Judges Abe Balardo and Luis Cobian registered tallies of 30-27, while Marcos Rosales saw the contest 30-26.
Submission-minded Shayna Baszler (Pictures) didn't disappoint in her 130-pound bout with slugger Jennifer Tate (Pictures), catching the less experienced fighter with a slick-as-Teflon armbar just 44 seconds into the opening round.
"That's how a lot of them go." said the 27-year-old Josh Barnett (Pictures)-trained Baszler, who improved to 8-4-0. "I mounted and saw her giving that arm a couple times before, but I wanted to settle my position, because I could feel her hips were really good when I was trying to get position.
"I knew she would take the opportunity to escape if I gave her one, so I waited until she gave it to me again."
Tate, 27, now 3-1-0 with the loss, was overwhelmed from the outset of the contest, tasting a stout right hand on the chin before being taken down and quickly dispatched in under a minute.
Mushin Corbbrey, 29, moved to 6-2-0 with a late-first period submission of previously undefeated Bobby McMasters.
McMasters (7-1-0) dominated the first four and a half minutes with hard rights and lefts to the head, along with digging body shots from Corbbrey's defensive closed-guard.
Though McMasters, 26, was more than busy with the position, referee Jason Herzog inexplicably stepped in to restart the fighters on the feet. Seconds later Corbbrey, clearly the benefactor of the referee's error, slapped on a tight guillotine choke that prompted McMasters to tap with just one second remaining in the stanza.
The lightweight offered little defense to the hold, and appeared quite dejected when Jimmy Lennon Jr. read the official time of 4:59.
Shane DelRosario (Pictures) picked up the first submission victory of his young career with a textbook triangle-choke in the first round against MMA newcomer Amedeo Viola.
Viola stormed out of his corner and scrambled his way to top position on the ground early in the period, where he was met by an armbar and the eventual fight ending technique at the 2:27 mark.
"I knew he was going to come out and take me down," said the heavyweight kickboxer, who upped his record to 3-0-0.
Givanildo Santana (Pictures) submitted his fifth opponent with an armbar in as many bouts, after wrapping up Jamie Fletcher's outstretched limb at the 2:46 mark of the opening frame.
Santana opened up a cut above the left eye of Fletcher (5-3-0) with a flying knee before taking the Team Shark Tank co-owner to the ground, where the middleweight worked briefly from the mount and back of his opponent before securing the tapout-inducing hold.
Bantamweight Chris Cariaso (Pictures) (6-0) kept his unblemished record intact after outwrestling Richard McCorkel for the duration of the evening's opening bout.
Cariaso consistently tripped McCorkell (1-1-0) to the canvas and struck from the top position en route to a unanimous decision, which saw all three judges score the contest 30-27 for Cariaso.