With his management and the UFC at a standstill in negotiations, Conor McGregor announced his latest MMA retirement on Saturday, which was met with widespread skepticism.
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
On Sunday, the former lightweight and featherweight champion spoke with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani to explain his decision and where things stand regarding negotiations with the UFC and vocalizing a frustration over an opponent to fight and the lightweight division being on hold until Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje have their fight, which is being targeted for September.
You know what’s going to happen in September, something else is going to happen in September, and that’s not going to happen. I laid out a plan and a method that was the right move, the right methods to go with. And they always want to balk at that and not make it happen or just drag it on. Whatever I say, they want to go against it to show some kind of power. They should have just done the fight — me and Justin for the interim title — and just kept the ball rolling.
McGregor added that “the game just does not excite me” and elaborated with the opponents being presented to him for potential fights:
I had my goals, my plans, the season. I had everything laid out. Obviously the world has gone bleeding bonkers at the minute. There’s f— all happening at the minute. They want to throw me up and down weights and offer me stupid fights. I don’t really give a f—. I’m over it.
ESPN is reporting that the sides were negotiating for McGregor to fight in July but the barrier has been the opponent and not money.
McGregor has previously announced his intentions to retire in 2016 and 2019. Due to his stature in the sport, the tweets are always treated as a big deal, but this has become a pattern for the fighter. While speaking to Helwani, it added a context of frustration to the negotiations and ended by stating “We’ll see what the future holds”.
After setting the all-time MMA pay-per-view record in October 2018 when he fought Khabib Nurmagomedov, McGregor did not fight in 2019. He returned earlier this year in January, defeating Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in a fight that did one million buys on the ESPN+ streaming platform.