While the MMA world focused much of its attention on the drama surrounding Nick Diaz and the Nevada State Athletic Commission, one of WMMA’s stars and former Invicta strawweight champion Katja “The Killer Bunny” Kankaanpää announced her retirement from competition.
“(Saturday’s) match will be my last one. Now it’s time to take it a bit easier. I will write more specifically about this once I’ve returned to Finland. Thank you for all the support I’ve received from all of you.”
Fans and friends took some time to congratulate The Killer Bunny on her success.
Making her professional debut in 2010, Kankaanpää racked up a 10-3-1 record that included wins over Aisling Daly, Juliana Carneiro Lima, and Stephanie Eggink. Her big break came in 2014 when she submitted Stephanie Eggink to win the vacant Invicta 115-pound title in a fight where she was losing. She lost the title to current champion Livia Renata Souza and most recently dropped a contentious decision to DeAnna Bennett at Invicta FC 14 last weekend.
Although some critics may argue that Kankaanpää wasn’t as high caliber of a fighter as some of the competitors in the UFC, The Killer Bunny will forever be a part of mixed martial arts history due to her world title win, something that can take MMA fighters years to accomplish, if at all.
There is a positive side to Kankaanpää’s retirement in that fighters on the Invicta roster have a chance to step up and take her spot on the mountain. Kankaanpää’s opponent Bennett, who is now 2-0 since dropping to strawweight, could be next in line for a title shot.
There’s also JJ Aldrich, who moved up the ladder after dispatching promotional newcomer Rosa Acevedo in two minutes. Aldrich’s efforts earned her first “Performance of the Night” bonus. Don’t forget other standout strawweights such as Jaime Moyle, Amy Montenegro and Karolina Kowalkiewicz – if she ever returns to Invicta.
Of course, there’s still the upcoming strawweight title bout between Souza and Mexican sensation Alyssa Grasso.
Invicta’s strawweight division is once again ready for a shift and it could be beneficial to the fighters, as well as the fans.
As for Kankaanpää, she can sit back, heal (if there is a permanent injury that forced her to retire) as well as enjoy the fruits of her labor. Of course, many fighters have that urge to return to competition after a certain amount of time. Who knows, maybe we’ll see The Killer Bunny return to action in the future.