UFC women's bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes recently mulled over retiring, citing the pending birth of her child, and the lack of challengers. During today's UFC on ESPN 11 pre-fight media scrum, UFC president Dana White asked if the women's featherweight division would continue if "The Lioness" retires now.
“Probably not,” replied White, as transcribed by Alexander K. Lee for MMA Fighting. “I literally just told the guys the other day to build that division. Start signing girls, let’s start building that division, and now my girl’s talking about retirement, so apparently we gotta get on the same page and figure this out.”
“[Nunes] can do whatever she wants to do. She’s the queen. She can do whatever she wants. She’s having a baby, she’s got all these great things going on in her life right now personally and professionally she’s done anything that I’ve ever asked her to do. To go from Ronda Rousey to her, it’s actually been a joy working with the women in that division. I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye with Holly Holm’s people, but Holly Holm is one of the nicest human beings on planet earth. Dealing with that division has been awesome.”
“I hope she doesn’t [retire]. She’s one of my favorite people ever and coming off of the performance that she just put on, I think that the beautiful thing was she came out of the de Randamie fight and everyone was like, ‘She looked human,’ this, that, all the critics were all over her. She fought arguably the best female striker of all-time, beat her, and she looked human in that fight.
“Then she came out and put a statement on her last performance. She looked incredible and put on an absolute clinic against one of the toughest women that I’ve ever seen in my life. After a performance like that, I would hate to think that she would want to retire, but if that’s true, and that’s where she’s at right now, then she probably should.”