It was all part of the plan.
Amanda Nunes destroyed Irene Aldana for five rounds at UFC 289 last night (Sat., June 10, 2023), winning a unanimous decision from inside Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. After her sixth Bantamweight title defense, Nunes retired from mixed martial arts (MMA).
During UFC 289 fight week, a big talking point was Nunes' possible retirement after her fight with Aldana ... regardless of the outcome. However, the Brazilian downplayed any retirement talk.
All of the downplay turned out to be smoke and mirrors because she planned on putting down her gloves after the fight as soon as she signed the contract.
"[I knew I would retire] when I signed the contract for this fight," Nunes told reporters during UFC 289’s press conference (watch it). "I tried to hide it from you guys the whole week, but you guys looked like you were on top of it. I just didn't want to focus on that. I wanted to focus on my fight because I didn't want to keep talking about the retirement all the time.... Imagine if I said I was going to retire; it would have been all about that. So, yeah, I knew the whole time."
There was a catch to Nunes' retirement plan. She was only going to retire after she beat a new opponent like Aldana. If she had fought Julianna Pena as UFC initially planned, she would have kept fighting until she faced Aldana.
"If it was Julianna Pena tonight, I [wouldn't of] retired because I wanted to fight somebody I haven't fought before — to retire. Tonight wouldn't have been the night," Nunes said. "I would have beat Julianna and then fought Aldana or whoever ... and then retired."
Do not ask Pena, though, she believes she scared “The Lioness” into retirement.
Nevertheless, Nunes retired as the Bantamweight and Featherweight champion with records that will hold for many years. She even broke the record for most takedowns in UFC women's Bantamweight division history with 32 at UFC 289, breaking Olympian Sara McMann's record.
For complete UFC 289 results, coverage, and highlights click HERE.