Throughout an athletes career there can be point when stepping away from competition is required. Whether it is due to an injury, personal reasons, or inability to find work, every athlete finds time away.
This can be a confusing or difficult thing to navigate but I am a proponent of these times. In these spaces whether six months, a year, or longer you can still improve your game! If you continue to train, grow, and develop you will improve! The only time an athlete stops moving toward their goal, is when they decide.
I share this to a statement from Joe Rogan discussing George St. Pierre's return after a three year hiatus. He stated " GSP still continued to train like a Martial Artist." That is how he still improved in that time, even though he was not competing in the UFC.
The reason to share this is because these periods occur in any athlete's career. Just because you are not currently under an affiliation, does not mean you will not improve. The standard is Major League. When, how, and where you reach it? Up to you