Conor McGregor, one of the most popular fighters in the MMA, has announced his retirement from the organization.
McGregor has not fought in the MMA since UFC match 229, in October of 2018, when the legendary fighter lost to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Many fans were expecting a rematch between the two fighters, but that seems like an impossibility now that Conor is retiring.
This morning on his Twitter page, McGregor said, “Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today. I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!
The early retirement may have come as a surprise to many of his fans, but the night before making his announcement, he appeared on the Late Show with Jimmy Fallon and seemed to drop some hints about the future of his career. McGregor told the host that he “didn’t need” to fight anymore and that he was “set for life” now.
Prepare for the greatest face off of all time, tonight on NBC @thenotoriousmma & @jimmyfallon get together for a drink and then some #OneForAll pic.twitter.com/5oMhJn6x4e
— Proper No. Twelve (@ProperWhiskey) March 25, 2019
“We’re in talks for July. There’s a lot of politics going on, it’s a mad game, the fight game. To my fans, I am in shape and I am ready. There are many opponents, in reality I can pick who I please. I don’t necessarily need to fight. I am set for life, my family is set for life. We are good, but I am eager to fight. We will see what happens, but I am just staying ready,” McGregor said.
McGregor was alluding to a fight that was being planned against Donald Corrone in July, and mentioned that he was eager to step into the octagon again. It seems that he was not eager enough to stay out of retirement though.
Fans may be upset about his announcement, but people in the industry understand that it is a good decision for McGregor to cash out while he is on top. Fighting is a dangerous sport that can cause serious health problems, including CTE which can radically impact a person’s ability to think and reason.
As UFC president Dana White pointed out, McGregor still has a lot going on to keep him busy outside of the ring.
“He has the money to retire and his whiskey is KILLIN [sic] it. It totally makes sense. If I was him I would retire too. He’s retiring from fighting. Not from working. The Whiskey will keep him busy and I’m sure he has other things he’s working on. He has accomplished incredible things in this sport. I am so happy for him and I look forward to seeing him be as successful outside of the octagon as he was in it.” White said on social media this morning.
White was referencing McGregor’s whiskey brand Proper No.12, which has been keeping him very busy.
McGregor also has numerous advertising partnerships and sponsors, including Burger King, Beats by Dre, Monster Energy, David August, BSN, Anheuser-Busch, HiSmile and Betsafe.
According to some reports, The Burger King endorsement alone earned McGregor about a half million dollars.
McGregor will certainly never have to work another day in his life. The Daily Mail reported this morning that the famous fighter has a net worth of roughly €85million (£73m).
However, there is reason to suspect that McGregor is not gone for good, because he has made fake retirement announcements in the past.
In 2016 he posted on Twitter, “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.”
While McGregor did take a two-year leave of absence after that post, he returned to the MMA to fight Nurmagomedov, and he organized his unprecedented boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.
I have decided to retire young.Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya’s later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
The retirement announcement comes as McGregor is embroiled in controversy for his behavior outside of the octagon. He was recently suspended for 6 months after he got into a brawl with a crowd. The suspension comes after he was arrested last year for attacking a bus filled with other fighters. McGregor’s rival Nurmagomedov was on the bus and was reportedly the target of the attack. McGregor was charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault and one count of criminal mischief.
Photo Credit: Sky News