Felice Herrig is hanging up the gloves.
The veteran UFC strawweight suffered a second-round rear-naked choke loss to ex-title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the featured prelim of UFC Vegas 56, sending her to her fourth consecutive defeat. You got the sense given the lengthy losing streaks of both fighters that at a minimum, the loser was going to depart the promotion, and there was always a distinct possibility of retirement for either fighter.
In the end, Kowalkiewicz made it 2-0 against Herrig and ended her five-fight losing skid, and afterward Herrig took off her gloves in the Octagon and went on the microphone to confirm she’s retiring.
"It's been an honor being in the UFC for 8 years and fighting for 20." - Felice Herrig says she didn't want her career to end because of injuries. Needed to get to fight again. #UFCVegas56— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) June 4, 2022
"It's just time to move on to something else." - Felice Herrig tearing up as she calls it quits to her MMA career. #UFCVegas56— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) June 4, 2022
Herrig fought on the regional scene but also in Bellator, XFC, and once in Invicta FC. She made her way to the UFC through the strawweight season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2014, when she was eliminated in the quarterfinals but did win her official UFC debut against Lisa Ellis.
After a decision loss to Paige VanZant, Herrig rattled off four straight wins over Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justin Kish, and Cortney Casey before dropping a split decision to Kowalkiewicz. Herrig would lose to Michelle Waterson in 2018 but things went from bad to worse when she missed all of 2019 with a torn ACL. Upon her return to the Octagon, she was submitted by Brazilian grappler Virna Jandiroba. As she noted in her interview, multiple ACL surgeries impacted her career and she knew that she’d retire if it didn’t go well for her in this fight.
The 37-year-old Herrig exits MMA with a pro record of 14-10 and a UFC mark of 5-5.