After losing to Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC Vegas 56 last night (Sat., June 4, 2022) in Las Vegas, Nevada, Felice Herrig laid her gloves in the center of the cage and announced she’d be retiring from professional mixed martial arts (MMA).
“It’s been an honor being in the UFC for eight years, and fighting for 20,” Herrig told said in her post-fight interview (via MMA Junkie). “The biggest thing for me is I had two ACL surgeries and I really wanted to not go out like that. I really wanted to prove to myself that I can overcome two knee surgeries and come back and still fight at the highest level,” she said, before stating it was simply time to move on to something else.
The loss was Herrig’s fourth in a row with her last win coming in Dec. 2017. Injuries kept her sidelined for the last two years before she was finally able to make her return against Kowalkiewicz.
When looking back at her overall MMA career, Herrig admits she’s not exactly pleased at how it all turned out.
“I’m proud and I’m not proud,” Herrig said during the post-fight press conference. “I feel like my anxiety for so long got, like my anxiety about the scale. I had a lot of eating disorders, which helped me not perform so well. I had a lot of anxiety about the sport and the media. I was like, I can’t weigh this in my interviews because they’ll take it like this. I feel like I could’ve done more.
“And I know I did a lot, but I think that’s what’s so hard,” she added. “I’m leaving the sport like a physically capable human being. I’m not like a lot of people like, ‘Oh it’s time to hang up the gloves because this sloppy girl, her body has gone to s—t. Everything has gone to s—t.’ I physically feel great. I don’t know if the sport has worn on me.… If you’re not doing what you love anymore, then there’s no point of me staying.”
Herrig went an even 5-5 inside the Octagon with her biggest win coming against current top-ranked Flyweight contender, Alexa Grasso, in 2017. According to Herrig, while she is calling it a day in MMA, she isn’t opposed to turning to boxing down the road.
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