Add champ Amanda Nunes to the list of UFC stars discussing retirement.
The two-division queen defended her featherweight championship with a dominant decision victory over Felicia Spencer at UFC 250 earlier this month in Las Vegas. In the post-fight press conference, “The Lioness” said she’d likely sit out the remainder of 2020 to focus on the birth of her first daughter with UFC strawweight Nina Ansaroff.
Eight days later, however, Nunes has changed her tone. In an interview with Brazilian TV show Esporte Espetacular, the double-champion opened the door to retirement.
“Ah, I don’t know, I’ve achieved everything I wanted,” Nunes said. “I’m well, I can go on with my life, maybe a [take] new step, maybe find new talents, help some girls there…maybe be a coach, too.
“I’m in a moment that I can retire, you know, and I’m in a moment that I can fight. I’m fine. There’s nothing else to be done right now in the division. The Hall of Fame will come, for sure. My life going forward, if I do stop now, the UFC will give me every support I need to continue having my money and work.”
This is not the first time Nunes discussed hanging up her gloves. Months after her first-round win over then-champion Cris Cyborg, “The Lioness” told reporters in Brazil there was a chance she would end her career with a win over Holly Holm. Nunes finished Holm in July 2019, but she returned five months later to defend her bantamweight title against Germaine de Randamie.
Nunes’ retirement thoughts come at an unusual moment for the UFC, which has seen several of its champions and stars indicate they’re stepping away from the octagon. Bantamweight champ. Henry Cejudo recently announced his departure from the sport, but also hinted that a lucrative offer would get him back in the cage. Fellow stars Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal started a public war with the UFC about money.
Nunes’ case doesn’t appear to be about pay.
With no clear contenders at both bantamweight and featherweight, Nunes’ extended layoff could give the UFC a chance to build the next contender.
If “The Lioness” never returns to the eight-sided cage again, she said her legacy in the sport is already done: She’s the first to “dominate” two weight classes, defeating every woman that held the UFC bantamweight and featherweight titles.