MMA fighter has made similar announcements in past – previously ‘retiring’ in 2016 and 2019 before making way back to the octagon
Conor McGregor has announced for the third time in his career that he is retiring from professional fighting.
The high-profile UFC fighter, and biggest selling pay-per-view star in its history, joins the ranks of other star names who have made similar comments in the past week, including Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal.
McGregor intimating his desires just as UFC’s first event in Las Vegas since the pandemic lockdown ended in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The move, it has been suggested by many industry insiders, is part of a wider displeasure from the fight league’s biggest stars that they are not being paid enough.
McGregor has spent the lockdown donating €1 million of PPE equipment, and delivering it in trucks in Ireland with his team.
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
The 31-year-old, a former two-weight world champion with the UFC, who has earned an estimated £150m from his fight career, tweeted: “Hey guys, I’ve decided to retire from fighting. Thank you all for the amazing memories! What a ride it’s been!”
Accompanying his words on his social media channel was a picture of himself with his mother, Margaret.
“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.”
In January, McGregor made a high-profile comeback in Las Vegas, having eviscerated rival Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds at UFC 246, his first contest since facing Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018, and Floyd Mayweather – in a boxing match – in 2017.
Making retirement announcements through the Irishman’s social media channels, to his 45 million followers, are not out of the ordinary for the fighter.
In 2016, he affirmed that he wanted to “retire young” but then returned several months later with victory over Nate Diaz.
He then left the sport again in 2019 to focus on his business interests, but then said he would return this year to fight three times.
The retirement affirmation today conflicts with his recent comments that he was keen to fight at the UFC’s ‘Fight Island’ plans in the Middle East, and could centre around payment changes due to a lack of a live gate at events. McGregor’s current record stands at 22 wins (19 knockouts, one submission, and two decisions), and four defeats.
However, like his former boxing rival Mayweather, against whom he earned an estimated £120m, the next comeback could be timed for the lifting of behind closed doors events. Mayweather retired three times, and each time made more money on his comebacks.
Dana White, the UFC’s president, responded to McGregor’s announcement soon after the UFC 250 event ended in Las Vegas.
“The amount of people I have gunning at me right now is insane. So if that’s what Conor’s feeling right now, Jon Jones, Jorge Masvidal, I feel you. On a certain level, I understand it.”