Former UFC featherweight title challenger Felicia Spencer has retired from the UFC after a long career in the fight game.

Spencer most recently defeated Leah Letson in a dominant performance at UFC Vegas 42. She used her grappling to stifle Letson and land some hard strikes in the clinch that ended up finishing the fight in the third round.

Spencer announced her retirement in a statement to FightBananas.

“I have decided to stop pursuing this opportunity and have no intention to continue fighting,” Spencer said. “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.”

Felicia Spencer Will Be Remembered For Her Toughness In The Cage

Spencer rose to prominence in the UFC after an impressive career in Invicta FC. She won the Invicta featherweight title over Pam Sorenson in late 2018 before signing with the UFC and winning her promotional debut against Megan Anderson.

Spencer was on the cusp of a potential featherweight title run before losing a three-round war with Cris “Cyborg” Justino at UFC 240. Despite losing the bout, she was praised for her toughness in the cage and the ability to survive a barrage of early strikes from Justino.

After a nice rebound win over Zarah Fairn Dos Santos, Spencer earned her first and only shot at UFC gold against Amanda Nunes. She would lose the bout by a unanimous decision at UFC 250.

Are you surprised by Felicia Spencer retiring from MMA?

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Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.