Felicia Spencer first hit the Octagon as a highly touted prospect back in 2019. Unbeaten at 6-0, she’d charged her way to the top of Invicta’s featherweight division, picking up the crown held by Cris Cyborg and Megan Anderson before her. Working behind a kick heavy striking style and an aggressive, pressuring grappling game, Spencer seemed primed for a long career inside the world’s largest MMA promotion—provided the UFC was actually prepared to build the women’s featherweight division alongside her.
Two-and-a-half years later, and Spencer has had her ups and downs inside the cage, besting Anderson, while taking hard losses to Cyborg and Amanda Nunes. But the promotion’s interest in women’s featherweight seems to have, if anything, hit an all time low.
Whether or not that factored into Spencer’s recent announcement isn’t clear, but following her most recent victory over Leah Letson at UFC Vegas 42, the 31-year-old Canadian fighting out of Orlando Florida has decided to call it a career. Spencer announced her retirement in a recent interview with FightBananas.com.
“I have decided to stop pursuing this opportunity and have no intention to continue fighting. 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.”
Spencer will leave MMA with a 9-3 record as a professional, stretching back to her debut in 2015. That decision leaves the UFC with only four featherweights at the moment, most of whom have – at one point or another – spent time fighting at 135 lbs. If ever there were a time for the promotion to pull the plug on the division, this may be it.
About the author