- Conor McGregor announces retirement from UFC via Twitter
- The 31-year-old has threatened to retire twice in the past, only to return shortly thereafter
- McGregor says his enthusiasm for the sport has declined, and he is frustrated with the scheduling process
Is Conor McGregor’s fighting career over? If his social media post from late Saturday night is true, we may have seen the end of McGregor in the Octagon:
Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting.
Thank you all for the amazing memories! What a ride it’s been!
Here is a picture of myself and my mother in Las Vegas post one of my World title wins!
Pick the home of your dreams Mags I love you!
Whatever you desire it’s yours ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Dh4ijsZacZ
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) June 7, 2020
McGregor’s tweet went up shortly after UFC 250 concluded. The 31-year-old is still thought to be one of the most talented fighters in the world, which makes the announcement all the more shocking.
Despite rumors of his potential return at some point this year, McGregor told ESPN on Sunday morning that he has lost enthusiasm for the sport. He said, “The game just does not excite me, and that’s that. All this waiting around. There’s nothing happening. I’m going through opponent options, and there’s nothing really there at the minute. There’s nothing that’s exciting me.”
McGregor is frustrated with the process of scheduling bouts, and he says that he had his retirement tweet planned out as of two weeks ago. He added that the lack of fans in the arena could also take some of the luster out of returning to the sport.
McGregor said, “I’m a bit bored of the game. I’m here watching the fight. I watched the last show the [Tyron Woodley-Gilbert Burns] show – I watched the show tonight. I’m just not excited about the game. I don’t know if it’s no crowd. I don’t know what it is. There’s just no buzz for me.”
This Isn’t McGregor’s First Retirement
Of course, time will tell whether McGregor is serious about walking away from the game. Let’s not forget this isn’t the first time he’s retired. The Dublin native previously retired in 2016 after deciding against flying to the US for a press conference ahead of a scheduled rematch against Nate Diaz. However, he wound up returning later and defeated Diaz in the rematch in August of the same year.
McGregor also retired in April of 2019 via Twitter as he was negotiating with UFC. Those issues would be resolved, and he would return to the Octagon to defeat Cowboy Cerrone in just 40 seconds this past January.
Before beating Cerrone, McGregor pledged to fight a total of three times in 2020. He had his eye on his next fight taking place on July 11 in Las Vegas, but the coronavirus has derailed those plans. He went on to say, “I had my goals, my plans, the season. I had everything laid out. Obviously the world has gone bleeding bonkers at the minute. There’s f—all happening at the minute. They want to throw me up and down weights and offer me stupid fights. I don’t really give a f—. I’m over it.”
No Khabib Rematch Yet
There had been rumors of a potential rematch between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, but UFC seems to be leaning toward having Nurmagomedov take on Justin Gaethje later this year. McGregor had shared a workout video on social media on Saturday that made him appear to be in fighting shape. The fighter has made a number of large donations to hospitals in his native Ireland amidst the pandemic, as well.
UFC president Dana White said that the coronavirus situation has caused some fighters to make strange decisions, but he respects McGregor’s decision to retire if he really means it. After UFC 250, White said, “If that’s what Conor is feeling right now – Jon Jones, Jorge Masvidal, I feel you. It’s not like I’m going, ‘Holy s—, this is crazy, this is nuts.’ Nothing is crazy and nuts right now, because everything is crazy and nuts right now, on a certain level. I totally understand it and get it.”
McGregor has an overall record of 22-4, and he has lost just twice in UFC events. One of those defeats came at the hands of Nurmagomedov in October of 2018, with the other coming against Diaz in March of 2016. He avenged the defeat to Diaz, but he has yet to face Nurmagomedov again. McGregor became the first UFC fighter to hold titles in two weight classes at the same time after he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight title in November of 2016.
McGregor says that he plans to spend more time with his family in the meantime. While he says his excitement for the sport has waned, it’s hard to imagine him staying away forever.