Felicia Spencer Explains Her Retirement Move: ‘I Didn’t Want My Family To See Me Suffer’ (Exclusive)

Former UFC title challenger Felicia Spencer details why she retired from MMA at 31 years old.

Felicia Spencer On Retirement
Felicia Spencer On Retirement - Image via @feenom479 Instagram

Felicia Spencer’s retirement came as a shock to the MMA world. 

Hanging Up The Gloves

The 31 year-old would call it a career just weeks after a spectacular TKO win over Leah Letson. The performance would get Spencer back into the win column, after suffering losses to Norma Dumont and the champ-champ Amanda Nunes. 

Despite the amazing result, Spencer has decided her days as a fighter were no more. She would break the news on Thursday in an interview with Fight Bananas. ‘Feenom’ is moving on with her life, with no punching people in the face required. 

Family Matters

The now former UFC Featherweight would open up on her decision to retire in another interview. 

“It’s been 12 years.” Spencer told MiddleEasy. “I was always thinking, probably around 30 will be it (for retirement). Back then I had no idea that I would be where I’m at. Honestly, leading up to my fight with Norma (Dumont), that year prior to that, it had a lot of stuff in my life that just made me want to like focus on just health.

“I lost my brother. That kind of stuff, just thinking about family and just how meaningful they are to me, how much I don’t want them to see me suffer in the future. We watched my grandmother suffer with dementia and just other mental health issues that are significant in your life like that. I don’t suffer from anything right now, but once it starts happening, it’s too late. I always just felt like a little bit of guilt that my family, that my husband, that everyone that loves me might see me in that way in the future.”

Spencer Always Wanted To Retire In Her 30s

A good chunk of UFC fighters retire late into their 30s and their 40s. But not Felicia Spencer, she’s no Glover Teixeira. Her 12-year marathon of fighting has come to a close. Retiring at around 30 has always been a dream for her and she finally gets to make that into a reality..

“I always kind of thought that around 30, I would be done with competing and no matter where I’m at, how great things are going, that there’s a time to call it.”

One Last Dance

Spencer has had retirement on her mind for quite some time now. After experience her first losing streak, Spencer was down almost out for good. But, as the saying goes, you gotta save the best for last. 

“Leading up to Norma, I was kind of going through some of that guilt. And, uh, after the Norma fight, I kind of thought, I took a loss. I was definitely feeling like, maybe I just won’t come back. Walking away like a month or two after the fight, I was like, oh, I just can’t, I can’t leave it like that. I wasn’t proud of my performance. I knew I could be better and show better. I wanted one more, one more chance, win or lose to just like, really be proud of my performance. That honestly drove me through the camp to be as motivated as ever.

 “I feel like on that night, I could beat anybody, you know? So in a way it’s like, why would you stop now? But that’s what I wanted. I really wanted to have that to feel good about what I did and then when then walk away.”

Holding No Regrets

While Felicia Spencer never became a UFC Champion, she’s in good spirits upon her exit from MMA. She also reveals fighter pay wasn’t a factor in her decision to leave the sport. 

“At this point in my career, I’m making good money,” Spencer added. “I’m happy with my pay. You know, I’m happy with where I’m at, the division starting to roll. So, I definitely had a little bit of that, like guilt, but I I don’t want to just fight for money, you know, like that’s not what I wanted from the beginning. I wanted to aim to be the best.

“I did everything the way I wanted. I don’t feel like I’ve failed.”

Published on December 3, 2021 at 2:51 pm
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