Scottish UFC Trailblazer Joanne Wood Set to Retire After Upcoming Fight At UFC 299

Joanne “JoJo” Wood, the Scottish MMA trailblazer and the nation’s first professional female fighter has announced her impending retirement from the sport after her upcoming bout against Ukraine’s Maryna Moroz at UFC 299 in Miami this weekend, according to a report from the BBC.

The Final Octagon Appearance

At 38 years old, Wood has decided it’s time to hang up her gloves, telling the BBC, “I just feel now is the time.” The Irvine-born fighter, now based in Las Vegas, aims to conclude her career on a high note and expects an emotional farewell after her final fight in the octagon.

“It sure is my last fight,” Wood conveyed to BBC Scotland. “I want to retire on a good note and feeling good. I feel like when you know you know, so it is definitely going to be my last fight in the octagon.”

Leaving on Her Own Terms

Wood’s decision to retire stems from her desire to leave the sport while still at the top of her game, physically and mentally. She acknowledges her unwavering passion for MMA but recognizes the right time to step away.

“I don’t want to be forcing myself to do this,” Wood expressed. “I can say, ‘That is it, I am done and my body is still good, I could keep fighting but I choose not to.’ I am ready to lay it all out there and excited at the thought of it being my last one. I am going to do this fight and then I can let it flow and I am sure I will cry straight after.”

A Fitting Farewell

According to the BBC report, Wood sees her final bout against Moroz as a poetic culmination of her journey. Moroz handed Wood her first professional loss, and this matchup represents an opportunity for redemption and a fitting conclusion to her career.

“I love the fight, I didn’t ask for this fight but I feel this is a full-circle moment,” Wood told the BBC. “She gave me my first loss and it is the perfect ending, perfect fight. Go out there and get some revenge and then ride off into the sunset.”

A Legacy for Scottish MMA

Despite the challenges faced by female fighters when Wood first entered the MMA scene, she has witnessed and contributed to the growth and recognition of women in the sport. Looking back, Wood reflects on her pioneering role with pride, acknowledging the progress made and the opportunities that now exist for female fighters.

“Dana White [the UFC president] said there weren’t going to be any female fighters in the UFC,” Wood recalled to the BBC. “That changed, so anything is possible and I am really proud to be part of the growth in female MMA and I can just see it getting better and better, more opportunities.”

As Joanne Wood prepares for her final bout, she can take solace in the fact that her trailblazing career has left an indelible mark on Scottish and global MMA, paving the way for future generations of female fighters to follow in her footsteps.

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