Julie Kedzie Retires from MMA Following UFC Fight Night 33 Loss

Jordy McElroy@https://twitter.com/JordyMcElroyCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2013

Julie Kedzie
Julie KedzieKen Pishna/MMAWeekly

One of the original pioneers of women’s MMA, Julie Kedzie, has decided to retire from fighting following her split-decision loss to Bethe Correia at UFC Fight Night 33.

In several heartfelt posts on Twitter, Kedzie admitted the decision to step away had been made prior to her bout on Saturday night.

Ronda Rousey generally gets credit for carrying women’s MMA to the UFC, but it was actually the fight between Kedzie and former MMA star Gina Carano back in 2007 that really put the ladies on the map.  

The vast majority of fans came into the fight completely oblivious as to what they were about to see. It was a real gutsy move by the EliteXC in showcasing a spectacle within a spectacle—a women’s MMA fight in a primetime slot on Showtime.

No one could have predicted the events that were about to unfold would change the way we viewed MMA forever.

For 15 minutes, Carano and Kedzie exchanged blow for blow in an epic battle that holds a similar historical significance to Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar. If the EliteXC never took a chance or Carano vs. Kedzie failed to deliver, then perhaps women’s MMA would be in a much different place right now.

Unfortunately for Kedzie, she wasn’t consistent enough to bask in the same notoriety as many of her peers. She was never able to get a win in the UFC or Strikeforce, and her career comes to a close on a rather unsatisfying four-fight losing streak.

Let’s face it...There probably won’t be any blockbuster movie deals waiting in the wings like there was for Carano when she hung up her gloves back in 2009. For Kedzie, it will likely just be more of the same: a spot on Jackson MMA’s coaching staff and a commentating role in Invicta Fighting Championships.

Still, no amount of notoriety or wins could ever amount to the contributions Kedzie has made to women’s MMA.

We can only hope that she remains an ambassador of the sport and continues to influence and inspire thousands of young women hoping to one day throw on a pair of four-ounce gloves and step into the cage.