AMANDA NUNES emotionally retired from mixed martial arts following her title defence against Irene Aldana.
The Lioness retained the women’s bantamweight strap in the early hours of Sunday morning in the main event of UFC 289 with a five-round shutout of the Mexican in Vancouver.
And she stunned fans by laying her two belts and gloves on the octagon canvas after her record-tying final defence of the bantamweight throne.
After letting out a primal roar and screaming “Double champion forever”, the Brazilian revealed her mother had been asking her to walk away from MMA for several years.
The 35-year-old said: “My mom was asking me so much to do this for so long, she can’t take it anymore.
“My partner as well, Nina [Nunes], she’s been around so much with me my whole career, she’s pregnant now and we’ve been on this road for so long.
“I decided right now I’m still young enough to enjoy everything that I made.
“I’ve got to travel, I want to be with my family. I’ve got to spend more time with my family in Brazil as well.
“I left them so young to come here and chase the dream and everything, there was never a doubt in my mind I was going to be come a champion.
“But when I became a champion, it was unbelievable. A double champ as well.”
Nunes – the UFC’s third simultaneous two-weight world champion – retires from mixed martial arts as the most decorated female in the history of the sport.
But her record of eight combined defences of the bantamweight and featherweight thrones will see her go down as one of the best champions irrespective of gender.
UFC president Dana White said of her retirement: “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. She’s been incredible to work with. She’s such a good human being and a great champion.
“Obviously, she’s the greatest female fighter of all time. I’d love to keep her around.
“But if she’s ready to go, you have to be happy for her.”
Although she walked away at the peak of her powers, Nunes – who will welcome her second child with wife Nina later this year – is content with her career.
She said: “I came from a small city in Brazil, the name is Pojuca, nobody knows where it is in Brazil, but I made it here.
“I became a champion and the only champion that Brazil has right now. … I’m leaving, thank you!”