- 07 Jun 20
The UFC suffered another blow last night. There are those who might treat the announcement with scepticism , but for now the news is that Conor McGregor has called time on his UFC career...
Conor McGregor has announced his retirement from UFC.
While the news will inevitably be treated as dramatic within fight circles, it hardly comes as a surprise as he has already retired twice, in 2016 and 2019 respectively. The difference now is that McGregor is 31 years of age, making the decision more likely to stick – not least because of the uncertainty surrounding if or when audiences will be able to watch UFC fights live again.
"Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting,” the Dubliner said in a tweet last night.
"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 follow up conversations, McGregor said that he was bored with the sport. This despite the fact that he returned with a bang in January, after a 15-month hiatus, taking a mere 40 seconds to defeat the American fighter Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. A number of high-profile fights had subsequently been offered, but the thought of doing it in the sterile atmosphere of what would be like a gym clearly did not appeal..
Already, UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and welterweight fighter Jorge Masvidal had been critical of the organisation, and its decision to press ahead with the UFC 250 promotion, behind closed doors.
“I’m a bit bored of the game,” McGregor told ESPN. "I’m just not excited about the game. I don’t know if it’s no crowd. I don’t know what it is. There’s just no buzz for me.”
UFC’s Dana White responded to the news defiantly.
“If people don’t want to fight, you don’t have to fight,” he said in an interview. "If these guys want to sit out and retire right now or if anybody feels uncomfortable in any way, shape or form with what’s going on you don’t have to fight. It is all good.”
He also offered the reassurance that he would not be telling anyone that they were crazy and nuts to step away from the fight game.
"Nothing is crazy and nuts right now because everything is crazy and nuts,” he said.
Conor McGregor has been the biggest money-spinner in UFC history. He has been a headliner in the organisation's three highest grossing pay-per-view shows ever and has featured in five of the top six. His much publicised fight against against boxing legend Floyd Mayweather in August 2017 – which McGregor lost – boasted the second highest PPV buy rate in history.