UFC featherweight Felicia Spencer has abruptly announced her retirement from MMA.
The 31-year old Canadian announced her decision with David Van Auken on a video from combat sports media outlet Fight Bananas, citing mental health and a desire to be more present with her family. She clarified that “there wasn’t anything that happened” to prompt her unexpected retirement, only that she had endured enough wars in the cage to be satisfied with her career.
Spencer claimed the Invicta FC featherweight championship during her undefeated start to MMA, leading to a UFC contract in 2019 and eventually a title shot against then-champ Cris Cyborg. Cyborg resoundingly won the fight by decision, but Spencer was praised for her defense and toughness throughout the fight.
After the title fight, Spencer went 2-2 at featherweight, with losses against Norma Dumont and Amanda Nunes in another unsuccessful title bid, until rebounding with a TKO stoppage over Leah Letson last month. She had never been finished as a pro.
Spencer stated that she hopes to continue coaching and being a voice in the MMA community, having recently started a company with her husband in south Florida.
As one of the only natural featherweights, Felicia Spencer leaves the division in question with only three featherweights left- Leah Letson, Zarah Fairn dos Santos, and Danyelle Wolf, none of whom are anywhere close to a title fight with Nunes. Wolf has still not even made her UFC debut yet. The aforementioned Dumont has had success in the UFC at featherweight, but is still a natural bantamweight. How will the UFC provide challengers to Nunes at featherweight going forward? Only time will tell, but for now, the MMA Sucka team sends their congratulations to Spencer on a tremendous career as a pioneer of the featherweight division for women.
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