Conor McGregor Third Retirement in Four Years
Conor McGregor abruptly made his latest dubious declaration Sunday morning on his Twitter account, where the former two-division UFC champion also announced his retirement in 2016 and 2019.
“Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting,” McGregor wrote in a caption below a photo of him and his mother. “Thank you all for the amazing memories! What a ride it’s been!”
The 31-year-old Irish superstar revitalized his combat sports career in January with an impressive first-round stoppage of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246. McGregor (22-4) hadn’t won a fight in a mixed martial arts cage or a boxing ring since 2016, but he remained the UFC’s brightest star and biggest financial draw.
UFC President Dana White has already said McGregor is next in line for a title shot at the winner of lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov’s bout with Justin Gaethje this summer.
The UFC’s schedule is in upheaval due to the coronavirus pandemic, but McGregor was expected to get his title shot later this year, and he recently had been talking to White about taking another fight even earlier. Earlier this week, McGregor posted photos and videos of himself training for fights.
White was still willing to take McGregor’s retirement announcement at face value — at least publicly — when he learned about it at his news conference following UFC 250 in Las Vegas.
McGregor made his first Twitter retirement announcement in April 2016 during a spat with the UFC over the promotion of his rematch with Nate Diaz. Three years later, McGregor retired again in March 2019. McGregor began talking about new fights shortly afterward, and he eventually returned to face Cerrone in early 2020.
The loquacious McGregor has long proven that his pronouncements can’t be taken as gospel truth. Earlier this year, McGregor “accepted” future fights against former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and long-retired boxing superstar Oscar De La Hoya with little reason to think they will ever happen.