Dana White discusses what Amanda Nunes retiring would mean for featherweight division

Amanda Nunes, Cris Cyborg, Kayla Harrison, UFC
Image: UFC on Instagram

UFC President Dana White doubts the women’s featherweight division would survive if it reigning champion Amanda Nunes retires.

Nunes, who also holds the UFC women’s bantamweight belt, is widely regarded as the best female fighter of all time. Shortly after her recent title defense against Felicia Spencer, she divulged that she’s considering retirement.

“Ah, I don’t know, I’ve achieved everything I wanted,” Nunes told Esporte Espetacular. “I’m well, I can go on with my life, maybe a [take] new step, maybe find new talents, help some girls there…maybe be a coach, too.

“I’m in a moment that I can retire, you know, and I’m in a moment that I can fight. I’m fine. There’s nothing else to be done right now in the division. The Hall of Fame will come, for sure. My life going forward, if I do stop now, the UFC will give me every support I need to continue having my money and work.”

If Nunes does retire, White is not optimistic the women’s featherweight division will continue.

“Probably not,” White said, when asked if the division would survive sans Nunes (h/t MMA Fighting).

While White doesn’t see the featherweight division surviving without Nunes, he’s quite happy with the state of the women’s bantamweight division, and believes that division would continue without its current champion.

“I literally just told the guys the other day to build that division,” White said of the women’s bantamweight division. “Start signing girls, let’s start building that division, and now my girl’s talking about retirement, so apparently we gotta get on the same page and figure this out.

“[Nunes] can do whatever she wants to do,” White said. “She’s the queen. She can do whatever she wants. She’s having a baby, she’s got all these great things going on in her life right now personally and professionally she’s done anything that I’ve ever asked her to do. To go from Ronda Rousey to her, it’s actually been a joy working with the women in that division. I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye with Holly Holm’s people, but Holly Holm is one of the nicest human beings on planet earth. Dealing with that division has been awesome.”

Although White claims Nunes can do whatever she wants, he admitted that, after watching Nunes’ recent wins over Germaine de Randamie and Felicia Spencer, he hopes she doesn’t retire.

“I hope she doesn’t [retire],” White said. “She’s one of my favorite people ever and coming off of the performance that she just put on, I think that the beautiful thing was she came out of the de Randamie fight and everyone was like, ‘She looked human,’ this, that, all the critics were all over her. She fought arguably the best female striker of all-time, beat her, and she looked human in that fight.

“Then she came out and put a statement on her last performance. She looked incredible and put on an absolute clinic against one of the toughest women that I’ve ever seen in my life. After a performance like that, I would hate to think that she would want to retire, but if that’s true, and that’s where she’s at right now, then she probably should.”

What do you think the future holds for Amanda Nunes and the women’s featherweight division?