UFC strawweight Felice Herrig hung up her MMA gloves after her bout with Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC Vegas 56 Saturday afternoon.
Herrig (14-10-0), 37, was submitted by Kowalkiewicz in the second round and left her gloves in the middle of the octagon after the post-fight interview.
The “Lil’ Bulldog” was part of the TUF 20 generation that launched the UFC’s strawweight division in 2014. She started off quickly, going 5-1-0, but injuries slowed her down as she returned to UFC Vegas 56 after a two year layoff. She leaves the UFC with a 5-5-0 octagon record.
— UFC (@ufc) June 4, 2022
Immediately after the bout, Herrig (14-10 MMA, 5-5 UFC) left her gloves in the middle of the octagon and announced her retirement from the sport.
“It’s been an honour being in the UFC for eight years, and fighting for 20,” Herrig emotionally said in the post-fight interview with Paul Felder. “The biggest thing for me is I had two ACL surgeries and I really wanted to not go out like that. I really wanted to prove to myself that I can overcome two knee surgeries and come back and still fight at the highest level.
What a career, congrats on retirement felice herrig pic.twitter.com/gYs6jfIL2S
— 𝘔𝘔𝘈 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘶𝘴 🏝 (@mmamarcuss) June 4, 2022
“I felt better than ever in training, my mind felt great and I had so much positive energy around me and great coaches. But I knew if I wasn’t feeling it in the cage, it was going to be my last fight. Not in a bad way, I just feel like there’s something else for me and it’s time to close this chapter of my life. Which is really sad, because I’ve committed the last 20 years to it. But it’s just time to move on to something else.”
Herrig left the door open to other combat sports like boxing. Her UFC highlights include wins over Alexa Grasso, Cortney Casey, and Justine Kish. She previously competed in Bellator and Invicta FC and was a kickboxer before taking up MMA.