Dana White is taking Amanda Nunes’ sudden retirement as hard as he took Lorenzo Fertitta’s

For Dana White, Amanda Nunes's retirement at UFC 289 is as significant as one of the most momentous events in company history.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 3 months ago
Dana White is taking Amanda Nunes’ sudden retirement as hard as he took Lorenzo Fertitta’s
Amanda Nunes ahead of her UFC 289 title fight with Irene Aldana. IMAGO | Zuma

Dana White had to comment on Amanda Nunes’ post-UFC 289 decision to call it quits and ride into the sunset. “The Lioness” ended her career with a win over Irene Aldana, while holding both the undisputed women’s bantamweight and featherweight titles. 

Nunes does have a one-of-a-kind résumé, but for UFC president Dana White, her accomplishments are comparable to one of the company’s most significant moments. 

White compares Amanda Nunes’ retirement to a significant moment in UFC history

During the UFC 289 post-fight scrum, Dana White had nothing but praises for Amanda Nunes. When asked about Nunes’ retirement, the UFC boss saw a parallelism with a significant moment in company history. 

“I’ve got to take it the same way I took Lorenzo [Fertitta] retiring,” Dana White said  (quotes by MMA Fighting). “No, I wasn’t happy when Lorenzo retired either, but he said ‘You know what? This is what I want. Be happy for me.’ So this must be what Amanda wants, so I’m definitely happy for her.

“Would I like to see her stick around and do some more? Absolutely, I love the kid. She’s been incredible to work with. She’s such a good human being and an incredible champion. Obviously, the greatest female fighter of all-time. I’d love to keep her around. But if she’s ready to go, then you’ve got to be happy for her.”

Lorenzo and his brother Frank relinquished ownership of the UFC after selling the organization for $4 billion in 2016 to media company Endeavor. The sale happened 15 years after White and the Fertitta brothers took over and ultimately built the company into what it is today. 

White saw Amanda Nunes’ retirement coming

Many retirement announcements in combat sports don’t usually stick. Fans have seen it time and time again, where fighters (both high profile and otherwise) return after calling it quits. 

But in the case of Amanda Nunes, White believes the declaration is final. 

“I’m not shocked that she retired. I’ve been saying for a while, she made a lot of money and her life is a lot different than it was 10 years ago.

“I kind of felt this [coming]. She made a very good living. She’s got a lot of money. She’s going to be good. 

“She looked great and came out and performed, but I think it’s all the things before you get here tonight that you have to go through and you have to do that has made her decide to retire, in my opinion.”

Amanda Nunes almost didn’t retire

During a post-fight interview, Nunes admitted to almost foregoing retirement plans. According to her, she’d been thinking about it her entire camp. And if the sudden opponent change didn’t happen, she would’ve fought on. 

“If it was Julianna, I wouldn’t retire tonight. She’s not an opponent that I want to retire against. And I fought her before. I want to retire (against) somebody that I never fought before. 

“Tonight was a perfect night. And when everything changed for this fight, I looked at Nina, like, this is the time. This is meant to be. The right opponent, the right place, and tonight was the night to really go for good.” 

Nunes ended up facing Irene Aldana at UFC 289, when the latter replaced the injured Julianna Peña. With her win on Saturday, the 35-year-old Brazilian ended her career with a record of 23-5. 

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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