UFC Vegas 56’s Felice Herrig on Retirement: “This Just Isn’t For Me Anymore”

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Las Vegas, NV — Following a submission nonaccomplishment to Karolina Kowalkiewicz astatine UFC Vegas 56 connected Saturday, longtime strawweight seasoned Felice Herrig called it a career.

Laying down her gloves successful the cage, Herrig signaled the extremity to a warring travel that began each the mode backmost successful 2005, successful kickboxing. “Lil Bulldog” transitioned to MMA arsenic a pro successful 2009, yet competing for Invicta FC, Bellator, and since 2014, the UFC.

The determination to telephone it a vocation comes aft a 3rd consecutive loss, and treble ACL surgeries— but Herrig was not consenting to fto the genu injuries unit her retired of the sport. Which meant competing erstwhile much was cardinal for the 37-year old.

“It wasn’t truthful overmuch astir the triumph oregon the loss. I’ve known for a portion that like, possibly my bosom wasn’t successful warring anymore,” Herrig told media outlets including Cageside Press pursuing the fight. “I enjoyed the grooming process, I enjoyed everything astir it. I had the 2 genu surgeries, and that was not the mode I was going to spell retired successful the sport. I wasn’t going to fto an wounded clasp maine back. I wanted to beryllium to myself, and cipher else, that I tin flooded 2 ACL surgeries and get backmost to being successful the champion signifier of my beingness and travel backmost and combat astatine the apical level successful the UFC.”

She did conscionable that, continued Herrig, “but I besides knew successful the process that if I didn’t consciousness what I wanted to consciousness successful the cage, that I was going to retire. I don’t similar the nerves of— it’s similar a roller coaster ride, you get those nerves and those butterflies and the anxiety, and I conscionable don’t similar that feeling anymore.” Herrig besides noted that her legs felt dense successful the fight. “I conscionable felt dense and I conscionable didn’t consciousness like, not that I didn’t effort to propulsion the pace, but I conscionable didn’t person that other small ‘umph’ to truly combat retired of atrocious positions.”

With specified a lengthy combat sports vocation down her, Herrig isn’t definite if the contented is intelligence oregon physical, but astatine the extremity of the day, the effect is the same. “I’ve been doing this athletics for 20 years, it takes a toll connected your mentally and physically. So yeah, portion of maine did cognize that it was possibly going to beryllium my past fight, and I said that if I felt large successful determination and I had the tendency to truly propulsion the pace, past I would proceed connected successful this sport. But I said that if I didn’t person it successful me… I conscionable felt thing successful determination that I didn’t— I went aft it, and I really loved getting hit, that wasn’t like— I was similar ‘yeah, that felt benignant of good,’ which is weird, but I conscionable didn’t, like, I conscionable wanted the combat to beryllium over. I’m not saying I gave up, I conscionable realized, this isn’t for maine anymore.”

Felice Herrig, UFC Vegas 56 weigh-in Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

An affectional Herrig said she inactive expected occurrence erstwhile she got successful the cage. “What’s the constituent if I can’t execute well? Then I mightiness arsenic good conscionable spell to the gym and bash what I love; spell to my kickboxing classes, and bash my Yoga and bash my spot grooming and conscionable bid for me. I don’t know. It’s conscionable truly bittersweet for me, due to the fact that I deliberation too, arsenic a combatant who’s been doing it for truthful long, you deliberation similar ‘what americium I going to bash erstwhile I’m not fighting?'”

That said, Herrig is alert she has much opportunities, and got to a constituent earlier the combat that she knew she had much to connection the satellite “then conscionable Felice Herrig the fighter.” There’s besides the imaginable of a determination to boxing, which Herrig called “my archetypal love.”

Early successful her combat sports career, “everything was going towards MMA, and that’s wherefore I got into MMA. And I don’t cognize I ever truly loved it,” admitted Herrig. “And I cognize that’s truly bittersweet to say, and it seems similar I’m a traitor oregon a fake oregon whatever, similar ‘oh you don’t emotion MMA, you’ve been doing it truthful long.’ I cognize radical are going to speech sh*t astir me, similar ‘oh nary wonderment you lost, your heart’s not successful it,’ whatever. People are going to accidental immoderate they want, but I ne'er loved MMA. I emotion it successful training, but I truly emotion boxing. That has ever been my archetypal love. So possibly everything’s going to conscionable travel afloat circle.”

With Herrig making her exit from MMA, she tin present look backmost astatine a palmy career, archetypal emotion oregon not. Asked astir her favourite win, 1 stood retired successful particular: “Alexa Grasso.”

“So erstwhile I fought Alexa Grasso, I was a 3-1 underdog. I knew Grasso was an up-and-comer, and she is simply a large fighter, she is simply a badass, but everybody underestimated me,” recalled Herrig. “They were ever talking astir however large her striking was and ‘oh Felice couldn’t onslaught with her,’ and I’m similar ‘do you not adjacent cognize that I person 30-something kickboxing fights?’ I consciousness similar people, they privation to look astatine each these up-and-comers similar they’re similar a god, and they benignant of disregard radical that person really been successful the athletics a agelong clip and accomplished a lot, due to the fact that it’s each astir ‘oh what are you doing now?'”

Herrig would spell connected to triumph the combat against Grasso, pulling disconnected the upset and securing the 2nd triumph of a 4 combat triumph streak that had her flirting with rubric contention. She present finishes her MMA vocation with a grounds of 14-10.

Watch the afloat UFC Vegas 56 post-fight property scrum with Felice Herrig above. More sum from the lawsuit tin beryllium recovered below.