Fight fans may have been caught off guard by Amanda Nunes’ unexpected retirement last night at UFC 289 from inside Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, but Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president, Dana White, was “not shocked” one bit.
Nunes, who was fighting for the first time in Canada since defeating Valentina Shevchenko via decision back inn 2017, was hoping to re-affirm her command over the women’s bantamweight division. “Lioness” is already regarded as the greatest female fighter of all time, but her recent submission loss to Julianna Pena had cast some doubt over her current dominance.
Well, after defeating Pena in a rematch at UFC 277 in July 2022 to reclaim her 135-pound title the UFC double champ when out Saturday night and put an absolutely beating on worthy title challenger and veteran contender, Irene Aldana. Nunes beat her Mexican foe every second of the fight and delivered a classic landslide victory, defending her women’s bantamweight strap in the process.
After the fight, Nunes felt the time was right to announce her retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA) and walk off into the sunset. Fans didn’t expect to see it happen considering how good Nunes looked, but White knew something was coming.
“First of all, she looked incredible,” said White during UFC 289’s post-fight press conference (watch HERE). “It was an amazing performance. She completely shut her down. I think one of the guys was telling me tonight that it was the most punches landed or something like that. It was the most punches ever landed. I think she passed Sara McMann tonight for takedowns, so more records for her.
“I’m not shocked that she retired,” he continued. “I’ve been saying for a while she’s made a lot of money. Her life is a lot different than it was 10 years ago.”
While White would love to keep Nunes around and stay on this ride until the wheels completely fall off he has to respect the decision of “Lioness.” The UFC frontman has seen this type of thing happen before and has learned to be happy in the situation.
“I have to take it the same way I took Lorenzo [Fertitta] retiring,” said White. “No I wasn’t happy when Lorenzo retired either but he said ‘this is what I want, be happy for me.’ So this must be what Amanda wants so then I’m definitely happy for her.
“Would I like to see her stick around and do some more? Absolutely. I love the kid. She’s been incredible to work with. She’s such a good human being and a great champion. Obviously, the greatest female fighter of all time. I’d love to keep her around, but if she’s ready to go then you have to be happy for her.”
For complete UFC 289 results, coverage, and highlights click HERE.