It was just one month ago, and at 37-years of age and nearly 20 years of competition, that former UFC fighter Felice Herrig announced her retirement from mixed martial arts.
Herrig, also known as “The Lil’ Bulldog” is now headed to Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) according to a report from MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin.
Following an unsuccessful rematch against former strawweight title contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC Vegas 56 in June, Herrig laid down her gloves in the center of the UFC octagon.
The loss to Kowalkiewicz was Herrig’s second in a four-year span, which also included two reconstructive knee surgeries which sidelined the fighter off and off and restricted her training.
“It’s been an honor being in the UFC for eight years and fighting for 20,” Herrig said following the loss. “I had two ACL surgeries and I really wanted to not go out like that. I wanted to prove to myself that I could overcome two knee surgeries and come back and still fight at the highest level. I felt better than ever in training. My mind felt great. I had so much good energy, positive and great people around me, great coaches, but I knew like, if I wasn’t feeling it in the cage that it was just gonna be my last fight.”
Apparently however, Felice Herrig is not done fighting. She will just take the gloves off as she turns her focus to bare knuckle.
“I’ve watched closely what Dave [Feldman] and his team at BKFC have built and truly want to test myself in bare-knuckle,” Herrig said in a release. “At this point in my career, I’m ready for a new challenge, and there is nothing bigger and better than BKFC.”
Who her first opponent will be, or when is still up in the air, but MMA is definitely out of the question.
“MMA is definitely done,” Herrig said on The Fighter vs The Writer podcast following her retirement from MMA. “Here’s the thing, too, I want to make it very clear, because I feel like people look if you’re done with MMA, you’re a has-been. If you go to bare knuckle [fighting], you’re a has-been. I don’t believe that. Because there’s the thing, now the opportunities go beyond the UFC.
“UFC used to be the top of the top, the cream of the crop, and by no means am I talking s*** about the UFC. Because I love the UFC and I love being a part of the UFC, and I love that journey of my life, but before, the UFC was the end all, be all. If you left the UFC, it was only downhill from there. I don’t believe that anymore.”
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