McGregor’s retirement bombshell
UFC superstar Conor McGregor has announced his retirement from the sport.
The Irish star known as "The Notorious" posted on his social media channels on Tuesday that he has decided to walk away from MMA.
"Hey guys quick announcement, I've decided to retire from the sport formally known as Mixed Martial Art today," he wrote.
"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!"
Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) 26 March 2019
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 30-year-old fighter has previously trolled fans by declaring his retirement while in a previous dispute with the UFC.
In 2016, he took to social media to declare himself done with the UFC before he retracted that statement just a few days later.
I have decided to retire young.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) 19 April 2016
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya's later.
His bombshell announcement comes on the same day UFC boss Dana White declared he was talking to McGregor and hoped the former lightweight champion would make his return to the Octagon on the July 7 UFC 239 card in Las Vegas.
McGregor has only fought once in the UFC since 2016.
He was last year slapped with a ban by the Nevada State Athletic Association for his role in the infamous brawl following his loss to UFC rival Khabib Nurmagomedov.
He had been in line to fight Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in the upcoming American summer, but he has refused to be demoted to the co-headline spot.
In a video filmed with Late Night TV host Jimmy Fallon this week McGregor said he was preparing and training with a view to fighting again in July.
"We're in talks for July. There's a lot of politics going on, it's a mad game, the fight game," McGregor said.
"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."
His completely out-of-the-blue retirement call is very much at odds with a series of recent statements from the former dual-division world champion.
UFC boss Dana White said earlier on Thursday McGregor's return to the UFC had been delayed over a dispute surrounding the former champion's demotion to a co-main event slot.
White on Tuesday confirmed McGregor's targeted return to fight Cerrone was scrapped because the Irish star refused to back down on his demands to remain in the main event slot as the biggest draw card fight, which almost always also attracts the biggest fight purse.
According to reports, Cerrone has moved on and is expected to announce soon that he has agreed to fight Al Iaquinta as the main event fight on the UFC Ottawa Fight Night Card in May.
McGregor has this month spoken publicly about his desire to make his return to the UFC this "summer" in America, coinciding with reports the UFC wants to book McGregor for the scheduled UFC 239 card in Las Vegas on July 7.
"Every time I deal with Conor, there's always something," White said.
"There's always something to deal with and we get it figured out.
"If I just made him the main event with no title, no nothing, everyone would start going f***ing mental and go nuts and start chirping about, 'You get favouritism'."
He said he has previously justified using Conor McGregor in the main event fight slot despite no belt being on the line because he was still the champion in both of his fights against rival Nate Diaz.
"Conor McGregor is not the champion right now," White said.
"He's ranked No.2 in the world. He's not the champion. Back then when he fought that fight he was the main event, his fight fell off on late notice and he takes another f***ing fight and he takes on the weight class above him.
"He is a savage. And he was the champion so, of course, we were going to take him in the main event slot. That's not the case now."