Former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor announced his retirement this past weekend, moments after UFC 250 concluded. It was the third time when “The Notorious” decided to hang up his gloves.
“Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting,” McGregor posted on Twitter. “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.”
In a follow up interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, McGregor said “the game just does not excite me, and that’s that.”
“I’m a bit bored of the game. I’m here watching the fight. I watched the last show, I watched the show tonight. I’m just not excited about the game, Ariel. I don’t know if it’s no crowd. I don’t know what it is. There’s just no buzz for me.”
There have been a mixed reaction, with some wishing McGregor a happy retirement, while others said it was just an attention grab.
“I don’t buy it for a second,” Joe Rogan said. “I think he’s trying to get you to talk about him and you just did. What better to get people to talk about him when there’s a spectacular fight filled with people dominating. What he did was hijack the situation and say he’s retiring. I’m not buying it.”
UFC president Dana White told reporters at the UFC 250 post-fight press conference that “if that’s what Conor’s feeling right now – on a certain level, I understand it.”
“It’s not like I’m going, ‘Holy s**t, 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.”
A newly crowned interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje mocked McGregor with a reference to an incident in a pub where the latter punched an older man (watch here). “Thankfully all of the elderly are still hiding in their homes,” Gaethje tweeted. “This guy is on another bender.”
Yahoo Sports columnist, Kevin Iole was on the Jim Rome Show today, where he said Conor McGregor’s retirement announcement was a joke. You can watch the video up top.
“It’s a joke, ” Iole said. “The fact the this is the third time he’s done it…”
“I understand what Conor is upset about. Look, he thought he should’ve gotten the fight with Justin Gaethje. They offered him to be the backup for Tony and Khabib.”
“When he fought Donald Cerrone, he kept saying ‘Tony and Khabib is not gonna come off’. But he wasn’t willing to be the backup in case that happened. So, had he agree to that, then of course he would’ve been there and he would’ve gotten the fight against Tony, and he would’ve had what he wanted.”
“He doesn’t [didn’t] take it [fight against Ferguson at UFC 249]. Then they offered it to Justin Gaethje… Now Conor is mad.”
“So now Justin says ‘you know what, if I go beat Conor McGregor now, people aren’t gonna say I’m the best in the world. But if I beat Khabib – they’ll think I’m the best in the world. So I’m fighting Khabib.'”
“So as a result, who do you match Conor With,” Iole asked? “And that’s a really big problem.”
“Tony Ferguson got beaten up, and it’s gonna be a while for him to recover and be able to fight. Tony Ferguson got beaten up, and it’s gonna be a while for him to recover and be able to fight. Masvidal is looking for more money and turned out the fight they offered, and the fight against Conor, he doesn’t wanna do it. “There is nobody in that group at the top…”
“I think Dustin Poirier would take the fight, he is highly ranked. But they fought before, and I don’t think Conor is turned on to fight Dustin Poirier.”
“So, he [Conor McGregor] is frustrated. I get that.”
“But to say you are retiring… This is the third time he’s doing it.”
“Everybody knows, as soon as there is a good fight out there for him – he is gonna be back. So it was just a joke.”
Conor McGregor last fought in January, when he stopped Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds.