SAN DIEGO – Was it the most exciting fight of Nina Nunes’ career? No. But the end result was just what she needed to cap off her career.
Nunes (11-7 MMA, 5-4 UFC) snapped a two-fight skid Saturday when she eked out a split decision against Cynthia Calvillo (9-5-1 MMA, 6-5-1 UFC) on Saturday. The women’s flyweight bout was part of the UFC on ESPN 41 preliminary card at Pechanga Arena.
The fight lacked action for all 15 minutes, incurring boos from fans on a few occasions. Rounds 1 and 2 seemingly were close, but the third clearly belonged to Nunes, who landed her best punch – a hard right hook –in the final frame.
Once the horn sounded, Nunes took off her gloves and left them in the center of the octagon before the judges’ scorecards of 28-29, 29-28 and 30-27 had been read in her favor. Nunes, 36, said earlier in fight week that she still had a championship mentality, but it was clear announcing her retirement was a decision she’d made prior to stepping in the cage.
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“I am (retiring),” Nunes told Daniel Cormier during her post-fight octagon interview. “As a fighter, I think I’ve done what I wanted to. It started as a hobby. I got all the way here. I’m going to focus on coaching and bringing up those girls that are struggling right now.”
She added, “I want more babies. So I’m stepping away to have another kid.”
Nina Nunes and UFC double champion Amanda Nunes, who are married, are parents to daughter Raegan Nunes, who turns 2 in September. Nina gave birth to Raegan back in 2020.