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Too much ass kicking — Amanda Nunes cites nerve damage in legs as reason for UFC retirement

The women’s G.O.A.T. revealed a laundry list of nagging injuries that prompted her to retire earlier this year after nearly a decade of championship bouts.

Former UFC women’s Bantamweight and Featherweight champion, Amanda Nunes, retired from the sport in June 2023 after a one-sided domination of Irene Aldana at UFC 289. It was her eighth successful title defense and twelfth title fight in a row since 2016, and she definitely had nothing left to prove.

While “The Lioness” cited family as a key reason for relinquishing her titles and walking away from mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, a new interview with Sports Illustrated touches on the state of her 35-year-old body after 15 years of professional fighting.

“I cannot kick as much anymore,” Nunes said. “My legs have nerve damage from over the years. So, things are starting to get harder for me. My shoulders need rest, my knees. Even my teeth need work after getting hit in the mouth so many times. I don’t see myself back in the cage any time soon. I am looking forward to a break. My body needs this.”

We can joke about Nunes simply kicking too much ass over her career, but nerve damage is no joke. It can cause numbness or shooting pain, leading to a serious drop in quality of life.

Nunes knew coming into UFC 289 that her fight with Aldana was going to be her last, but she kept it a secret from press and the promotion so she wouldn’t have to spend fight week discussing her reasons. As soon as it was announced that she had won her fight, she left the cage and told UFC President, Dana White, her decision.

“I wanted Dana to know first,” she told Sports Illustrated. “That was my best opportunity to tell him. I wasn’t sure until then. I needed to feel it in the moment. So, as soon as the fight was over, I told him, ‘I’m done.’”

Done for now or done for good?

Nunes seems very comfortable with her decision to stop fighting, but she didn’t close the door entirely on ever competing again. If some massive new talent emerges — or a Ronda Rousey or Cris Cyborg wants a rematch — it’d be cool to see her compete again.

“I need to take care of my body and give it a break,” Nunes said. “We’ll see what happens in the future.”

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 289: “Nunes vs. Aldana” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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