Former UFC women’s featherweight title challenger Felicia Spencer has announced her retirement.
On Thursday, Spencer (9-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) revealed the news in an interview with Fight Bananas in which she cited her mental health as the main reason for stepping away from the sport.
“I have decided to stop pursuing this opportunity and have no intention to continue fighting,” Spencer said. “I felt as good as I’ve ever been in my last fight and know I could have more great performances. But after 18 fights, including a few wars, I know in my heart for my future mental health that I shouldn’t be in more of those wars. In the fight game, that isn’t guaranteed, and I’ve shown myself that I won’t give up in the cage, so I need to protect myself by just not stepping in there. I’m thinking about myself and family 25 years from now. Mental health is an important consideration in my family.”
A veteran of 12 professional MMA bouts, Spencer’s pro career began under the Invicta FC banner in 2015. Six wins later, she claimed the promotion’s featherweight title when she submitted Pam Sorenson by fourth-round rear-naked choke.
In March 2019, Spencer signed with the UFC. She submitted Megan Anderson by first-round submission, which set up a fight against Cris Cyborg. At UFC 240 four months later, Spencer vs. Cyborg served as the pay-per-view co-main event. Cyborg defeated Spencer via unanimous decision.
Following a TKO victory over Zarah Fairn in her next fight, Spencer was booked against women’s featherweight champion Amanda Nunes. While Spencer lost a unanimous decision, she became only the third woman to go 25 minutes with Nunes.
Spencer, 31, was one of the only members of the UFC women’s featherweight division prior to her announced retirement. She competed as recently as Nov. 13, bouncing back from a May loss to Norma Dumont and dominating Leah Letson en route to a third-round TKO stoppage.