Tuesday night saw an irruption of shock and social media reactions as Conor McGregor announced via Twitter that he was retiring from the sport with this tweet: “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.”
A UFC insider later seemingly comfirmed this. Following this, McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh tweeted “Well was fun while it lasted.”
Social media has erupted with many questioning the reason behind this, but has UFC president Dana White hinted at the reason today?
White has stated that Conor was asked to come to Vegas this week for a promo for UFC 200 with press conferences and fight marketing to be done.
McGregor and his camp told the UFC president that they could not make it as he was training in Iceland, and they felt it would interrupt his training for the Diaz fight.
Promotion of fights for the UFC is mandatory for any fighter, and McGregor is no exclusion from this. In which case Dana White has said that because of his no show, White pulled Conor out of UFC 200 and will find another fight for Nate Diaz.
Could this be the reason for his shock retirement?
I believe that Conor really does think he can do what he wants in the UFC, as he has stated on many occasion. But now that White has pulled Conor from UFC 200 it has pretty much undermined the Irishman.
And from this I believe that in anger, McGregor has refused to fight in UFC and stated his retirement.
For me Conor should have more respect for Dana and the UFC if this is the case. White has brought Conor into the UFC fight scene, paid him huge fight chequers (higher than any other fighter), and allowed him to hold onto his belt without a defence to fight in different divisions.
McGregor and his camp know that the promos are mandatory, and that they would have been agreed weeks ago. So they should have arranged their training accordingly around the promotion work in Vegas.
This however may not be the reason.
Another reason could be that he saw a fellow Irish fight die in the ring only last week. McGregor posted an emotional fair well to his compatriot on Facebook, and from this he may feel that he does not want to risk his life anymore whilst in the Octagon, and perhaps given him a different take on the sport.
That being a perfectly legitimate reason. However, he was supposed to be fighting Diaz at UFC 200, who isn’t the biggest hitter.
Knowing that a likely loss to Diaz would come via submission and not via knockout. Diaz didn’t really hurt Conor in their first bout, it was lost mainly due to the Irishman exerting too much of his energy early on and getting caught flush with a shot from the American.
I feel that fighting Diaz wouldn’t be a great risk to his health. He could win or lose to Diaz, get an even bigger pay cheque thank he first fight and then walk away. There is no denying that the rematch would actually draw a higher revenue than the first bout.
The other reason may be that Conor has always stated that he would win the titles, earn lots of money and then retire, and most likely leave the fight game early.
Which is another legitimate reason. However I would have thought it would come after a fight and not in the build up.
What I think
I think it’s a simple case that Conor has spat his dummy out at being pulled from the UFC 200 card. And in retaliation he has announced his immediate retirement.
White has stated today that if Conor was to call him an apologise about not showing at the promo he would be back on the card.
So I am going to predict that McGregor does this over the weekend, gets put back on the card and has the promo in May when he wants it to be done as the time has been and gone to do it now.
These are only assumptions, the reason behind his retirement has now been made clear as of yet. We all await a statement from McGregor about the truth in this matter.
Sources: Sky Sports.