Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s featherweight champion Amanda Nunes, who also holds gold at 135 pounds, shocked the mixed martial arts (MMA) community when she teased retirement in the wake of her latest title defense at UFC 250 in Las Vegas.
And judging by his reaction, it sounds like promotion president Dana White was caught off guard by the news. Probably because there is no featherweight division without “Lioness,” who took over the 145-pound reigns with her destruction of Cris Justino at UFC 232.
“I will kill her,” White told The Schmozone (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “I literally just told (UFC matchmakers) Sean (Shelby) and Mick (Maynard) in the last meeting let’s get this division built for her. Let’s build this division for her, and let’s start figuring this out. And now she’s talking about retiring?”
Metallica was wrong. “Kill” is not such a friendly word.
UFC originally signed Justino back in early 2016 and after a couple of catchweight fights, “Cyborg” went on to wear gold at 145 pounds. Four years later and the promotion still does not have enough female featherweights to include the division in its weekly rankings.
“You know how I always say, ‘If you’re talking about retiring, you probably should.’ Unless if you’re where she’s at,” White said. “In this time when I got guys crying about money, one of our female fighters, who could go on and keep doing this for a long time, is saying, ‘Maybe I retire now.’ She’s got plenty of money, and she can do it.”
Nunes is expected to become a parent at some point within the next few weeks.