UFC president Dana White hadn’t heard about a recent superstar fighter’s retirement his company might be facing soon, and he seemed shocked about it once he did. White was completely caught off guard during his appearance on the “The Schmozone Podcast” when he heard the news for the first time that UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes could be on her way to retiring soon.
“That actually drives me nuts,” White said. “You know how I always say, ‘If you’re talking about retiring, you probably should?’ Unless if you’re where she’s at… In this time, when I got guys crying about money, one of our female fighters, who could go on and keep doing this for a long time, is saying, ‘Maybe I retire now.’”
White genuinely seemed stunned to hear that Nunes could be headed out the UFC’s door alongside Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, Henry Cejudo and Jorge Masvidal.
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McGregor and Cejudo just announced their retirements. Jones and Masvidal have both expressed they want out of their UFC contracts.
So adding Nunes to that list of departures would mean five recent UFC pay-per-view headliners would suddenly be gone from the company’s roster, and that can’t be good for the near-term future of the premier MMA promoter in the world.
White’s reaction to Nunes potentially leaving his company drove that point home.
While the UFC boss has seemed to take the other departures in stride over the last month, potentially losing Nunes wasn’t something White seemed prepared to handle right now.
“I will kill her,” White said. “…I literally just told (UFC matchmakers) Sean (Shelby) and Mick (Maynard) in the last meeting let’s get this division built for her. Let’s build this division for her, and let’s start figuring this out. And now she’s talking about retiring?”
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Nunes: ‘I’ve Achieved Everything I Wanted’
Nunes has won 11 straight fights across two divisions. She’s just the fourth UFC “champ champ” in the company’s history, and the only one of them to have defended both titles as reigning double champion.
On top of that, “The Lioness” is considered by most observers to be the best female MMA fighter ever.
The 32-year-old Brazilian and her partner Nina Ansaroff are expecting a child soon, and the fighter revealed after her dominant win over Felicia Spencer at UFC 250 that she was thinking about retiring from MMA.
“Ah, I don’t know, I’ve achieved everything I wanted,” Nunes said. “I’m well, I can go on with my life, maybe [take] a new step, maybe find new talents, help some girls there…maybe be a coach, too.”
Nunes leaving would be a big blow to the UFC, and White’s reaction to that news shows he wasn’t all that prepared for it.
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