Felice Herrig has explained her emotional decision to retire from mixed martial arts (MMA) competition.
Felice Herrig decides to retire from MMA
Herrig got into the Octagon against former 115-pound title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC Fight Night 207. The bout didn’t end up going her way, as Herrig was submitted in the second round.
It marked the fourth-straight loss inside the Octagon for Herrig, who hasn’t won a fight in five years since a 2017 split decision over Cortney Casey. After the fight, Herrig removed her gloves and left them in the Octagon, signaling her retirement.
Herrig spoke at the post-fight press conference, emotionally explaining her decision to walk away from the sport. It seems, after two ACL surgeries and things not panning out the way she’d hoped as of late, she realized fighting wasn’t for her anymore.
“I’ve known for a while that maybe my heart wasn’t in fighting anymore,” Herrig said. “I enjoyed the training process. I enjoyed everything about it.
“I had the two knee surgeries, and that was not the way I was going to go out in the sport. I wasn’t going to let an injury hold me back.
“I wanted to prove to myself, nobody else, just myself, that I could overcome two ACL surgeries and get back to being in the best shape of my life and come back and fight at the top level in the UFC. And I did that, but I also knew in the process that if I didn’t feel what I wanted to feel in the cage that I was going to retire.
“I just realized this wasn’t for me anymore. I don’t know if I ever really loved it.”
Herrig ends a 13-year career after having competed in promotions such as Bellator, Invicta, and the UFC. She has shared the Octagon with top names such as Carla Esparza, Tecia Torres, Paige VanZant, Michelle Waterson, and many more.
Quotes via MMA Weekly