On Sunday morning, Conor McGregor (22-4) announced thar he’d be retiring from mixed martial arts.
McGregor made the announcement that he would be retiring for a third time in four years.
This retirement announcement comes nearly five months after he knocked out Donald Cerrone (36-14, one no-contest) in 40 seconds to win UFC 246’s main event on Jan. 18.
In so doing, Conor McGregor became the achieve knockouts in three separate weight classes (Featherweight, Lightweight, and Welterweight) in his first Welterweight fight since 2016.
McGregor made it official for the third time with this tweet:
Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting.
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 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Dh4ijsZacZ
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) June 7, 2020
As previously mentioned, this is McGregor’s third retirement and second in as many years.
In March of 2019, just hours after appearing on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, McGregor announced his second retirement through his Twitter feed:
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!
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 26, 2019
That retirement announcement drew the ire of Khabib Nurmagomedov, who fought McGregor in UFC 229 the previous October in a fight that ended in an infamous brawl, resulting in lengthy suspensions for both men.
Opinions rolled in quickly:
Within minutes of the tweet going out, Joe Rogan, onsite at the UFC Apex for UFC 250 and UFC President Dana White each weighed in.
Joe Rogan had this to say:
“I don’t buy it for a second. I think Conor McGregor’s trying to get you to talk about him and you just did. What better way to get people to talk about him when there’s a spectacular fight filled with people dominating. What he did was just sort of hijack the situation and say he’s retiring. I’m not buying it.”
Upon hearing the news from Megan Olivi, who also served on the broadcast team on Saturday night, Dana White shared these thoughts on McGregor’s retirement announcement:
“I’ll say it again, I told everybody, you don’t have to fight. We’re not going anywhere. You can retire, you can say I’m not going to fight. You can do whatever you want right now. Nobody is pressuring anybody to fight—and if Conor McGregor feels he wants to retire, you know my feelings about retirement, you should absolutely do it—and I love Conor.”
In my honest opinion, although Conor McGregor’s retirement announcement on Twitter early Sunday morning definitely appears to be a genuine one, it isn’t.
Think about it:
1) McGregor could still contend for, and win, the UFC’s Welterweight championship should he decide to come back to fighting and stay at 170 lbs.
2) If McGregor returns from retirement for the third time and wins the Welterweight belt, it would be the third division that he’s won a UFC championship in.
3) As Dana White mentioned in his comments, the UFC is trying hard to book fights and put on cards in the midst of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
3.5) Right now, the fights are being booked and will continue to be booked on the basis of which fighters are available and healthy to compete. I think McGregor is waiting to see when the UFC will be able to hold shows with audiences before a potential return, and I think that McGregor still has some fights left in him. He’s still 31 years old and will turn 32 next month.
4) Perhaps the biggest bullet point out of this is the fact that Conor McGregor has staged quick retirements twice before. His most recent 10-minute retirement occurred last spring after going on The Tonight Show. Less than a week and a half later, McGregor reversed his decision and came back to fight nine months later.
Unless and until Conor McGregor’s name is removed from the UFC rankings, he isn’t considered retired.
As I am writing this, it is June 7.
If McGregor’s status is unchanged by July 7, then we might know if McGregor is serious or not.