Decorated UFC champ officially retires, other fighter only ‘retiring’ on paper

A UFC pioneer is officially retiring, while another fighter is only doing so to get out of the USADA testing pool.

By: Anton Tabuena | 2 months ago

Retirements aren’t always permanent in combat sports, but the two latest ones to give UFC notice have contrasting reasons for it.

One UFC pioneer is officially hanging it up, while another — much like Conor McGregor — is only looking to leave USADA’s strict testing policies and use the time away to “heal.”

MMA: UFC 231-Weigh Ins, Dec 7, 2018; Toronto, ON, Canada; Joanna Jedrzejczyk walks on the stage with a Polish flag to weigh in during weigh-ins for UFC 231 at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports, 07.12.2018 18:22:05, 11805586, Scotiabank Arena, NPStrans, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, MMA PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xTomxSzczerbowskix 11805586
IMAGO / Tom Szczerbowski / USA TODAY Sports

Former UFC champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk officially retires

Joanna Jedrzejczyk announced her retirement back in 2022, after her second loss to current UFC strawweight champion Weili Zhang. The decorated champion remained in the USADA testing pool for several months though, and according to a report from MMA Fighting, she just recently gave her official retirement notice to the promotion.

Jedrzejczyk, 35, was a dominant force in the UFC strawweight division as she held the belt from 2014 to 2017. She currently holds the record with five straight title defenses in the division, and will be a sure-fire Hall of Famer.

Also on the same report was a second person to officially retire, but with a completely different reasoning.

Ian Heinisch officially retires, but says he’s “not quitting”

Middleweight Ian Heinisch also gave official notice of retirement, but he says he has no plans to actually hang up his gloves. He previously said that he is only doing so to leave the USADA testing pool and “heal.”

“I’m making the decision right now to take a step back and get out of the USADA pool, do some peptides, and some other treatments and heal,” Heinisch said.

“I’m NOT QUITTING, but right now I just need to step away from the UFC and take some time to only focus on healing,” he wrote. “To make it this far, and get injured like this, is a tough pill to swallow. Sorry to everyone I have let down, but just know I am the come back king, and I am not stopping. Thank you to everyone who supports. I have a lot more updates on recovery, and treatments coming soon!”

Heinisch, who dropped to 3-4 in the UFC after a rough stretch as of late, spoke about dealing with serious health issues such as concussions and traumatic brain injury.

MMA: UFC 241-Brunson vs Heinisch, August 17, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Ian Heinisch applies a hold against Derek Brunson during UFC 241 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports, 17.08.2019 19:20:25, 13226257, Derek Brunson, Honda Center, MMA PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xGaryxA.xVasquezx 13226257
IMAGO / Gary A. Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports

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About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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