UFC, Bellator Vet Felice Herrig Announces Combat Sports Retirement

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

After a twenty-year career, popular strawweight Felice Herrig has announced her retirement from combat sports.

The 39-year-old, who compiled a 14-10 record in MMA, last competed in July 2023, winning a pro boxing match against Veronika Dmitriyeva.

In mixed martial arts, Herrig fought for both Bellator MMA and Invicta FC early in her career, competing against top names in Bob Honchak and Carla Esparza while notching wins over Jessica Rakoczy and Heather Jo Clark among others.

Building an army of fans on social media and known for flashy weigh-in outfits, Herrig arrived in the UFC as part of The Ultimate Fighter 20, which introduced the women’s strawweight division to the promotion. Herrig would go on to fight for the company for eight years, and holds a win over current UFC women’s flyweight champ Alexa Grasso.

Felice Herrig, UFC 252 weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Felice Herrig announced her retirement on social media with a lengthy farewell message stating it was an honor to compete over the years.

Man what an honor.
After 20 years of competing in combat sports. Competing professionally In boxing , kickboxing , Muay Thai and mma. I have officially decided to retire.

I have so many fond memories of this sport. From competing on the first All female fighting reality show , Fight Girls to the first all female season of #theultimatefighter

I’ve fought in Thailand and Japan. Competed in Chuck Norris’s World combat league.

Racked up various kickboxing and Muay Thai titles. Hosted my own tv show and was a part of the first video game to feature female mma fighters.

I was lucky enough to be a part of the first set of female strawweights to ever compete in the UFC

I’ve met so many amazing people along the way and it’s been a beautiful thing watching this sport grow so much for women. Especially since when I first started people always told me I had no future in this sport. Promotors never even wanted to put women on their fight cards because they thought it was some kind of freak show.

This decision did not come lightly. After deciding to retire from mma I had hopes of finishing off my career with my first true love of boxing

However, My body just keeps saying “ No” as much as I love training hard and am able to get through practices , my body just doesn’t recover from it. I was constantly sick and spending any and all of my extra time just recovering for the next training session.
Not really living my life. I’ve paid my dues in this sport and I don’t want to continue to be miserable from it any longer.

Before deciding to call it quits I took a few months off of training to see how my body would react and it actually feels amazing. I have not been sick and I’m not in pain and tired every day.
I have decided to listen to my body and enjoy the life I have worked so hard to get.

I am officially retiring at Fight # 55

During her UFC run, Felice Herrig picked up wins over Cortney Casey and Justine Kish in addition to the Grasso win. She earned a Performance of the Night bonus for her submission win over Kailin Curran in July 2016, the first victory of a four-fight win streak.

Herrig had signed with BKFC following her retirement from MMA, but never competed for the bare-knuckle promotion.