MMA icon Ashley "Dollface" Rushing has decided to retire from the sport, citing a spinal compression fracture. The 33-year-old, a long-time fixture with Invicta Fighting Championships, announced the news via Instagram.
Rushing revealed that she suffered an injury during training following her last professional bout, in September of 2016. In late-2016, "Dollface" went to a chiropractor and found out the injury, an L5 fracture, was much worse than expected. Originally she thought she had a minor muscle pull that would heal up quickly on its own.
Unfortunately, the diagnosis was a vertebral compression fracture, causing extreme pain and weakness in the back. The injury only got worse -- and more painful -- as time went on. Rushing soon realized that it would be difficult to get by in everyday life, let alone fight inside a cage.
She plans to have fusion surgery next month to correct the issue, but she says she's done with professional cage-fighting. So now without competing, what does the future hold for the former phenom? The ECCF vet plans to focus on her day job as a stylist, and getting back to the gym. "I can’t wait to be back 100 percent, because with all the great things that I have accomplished so far with my job, I know I am capable of so much more," Rushing wrote on Instagram. "And I can’t wait to do it, but I will forever miss MMA."
Following a four-year amateur career that saw her compete against the likes of J.J. Aldrich and Tecia Torres, Rushing turned pro in 2016. The Carolina talent was quickly signed by Invicta FC and became a fan favorite due to her charisma, marketability and high-level skills inside the cage. Rushing went 1-1 with the promotion, with her lone pro victory coming against Sarah Click at Invicta FC 16.