As UFC 250 came to a close and UFC fans were discussing Amanda Nunes’ place among the sport’s all-time greats, Conor McGregor decided to grab the spotlight. McGregor revealed, much as he had in 2016 and 2019, that he had retired from fighting.
“Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting,” McGregor tweeted. “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.”
McGregor spoke to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani shortly after posting the tweet, insinuating it is real at that he is just “bored of the game”. “The game just does not excite me, and that’s that,” McGregor said. “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.
“They should have just kept the ball rolling. I mean, why are they pushing [Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje] back to September? You know what’s going to happen in September, something else is going to happen in September, and that’s not going to happen. I laid out a plan and a method that was the right move, the right methods to go with. And they always want to balk at that and not make it happen or just drag it on. Whatever I say, they want to go against it to show some kind of power. They should have just done the fight — me and Justin for the interim title — and just kept the ball rolling.”
In 2016, McGregor revealed that he had “decided to retire young” one month after losing to Nate Diaz at UFC 196. He would fight again a few months later. In 2019, he tweeted, “Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today.”
McGregor returned to the Octagon for the first time since 2018 earlier this year, knocking out Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds at UFC 246 in January.
The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion’s latest retirement comes weeks after arguing for a title fight with welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. Much speculation around this “announcement” centers on money and negotiations for the former champion. If that is the case, he joins Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal as the latest examples of fighters pushing to earn a larger check to return to the Octagon during a pandemic.
UFC president Dana White was asked about McGregor’s announcement after UFC 250, saying, “You don’t have to fight. If these guys want to sit out and retire. If that’s what Conor McGregor, Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal are feeling right now. … We’re in a pandemic. The world is a crazy place right now and everybody feels it. I think everybody’s pissed off, confused and been locked in their houses for three months.”