By Nicholas Williams
Published: April 10th, 2019
Late night on March 26th, former UFC Lightweight and Featherweight Champion, Conor McGregor announced his retirement on Twitter.
The Irish mixed martial artist tweeted a statement on his departure from the UFC, “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!”
This tweet shocked and confused UFC fans as McGregor is only 30 years old and is in the prime of his career as well as being a dominant fighter in the ring. Many people speculated that McGregor is fooling the fans and isn’t actually going into retirement. This isn’t the first time that McGregor fooled people about retiring as he announced his retirement out of the blue back in 2016.
McGregor tweeted this back in April 2016, “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.” Only later to come back, and defeat Nate Diaz in UFC 202 4 months later.
Tension with the current UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov may spark McGregor to come back out of his retirement to go another bout with Nurmagomedov. McGregor has never beat him, losing a fight at UFC 229. The thirst to be the best and take down Nurmagomedov may be a trigger into his return to the octagon. McGregor is still incredibly young and still has a lot of fight left in him.
On the other hand, there are other reasons to believe that this time around, he may actually stay retired. McGregor finished his career with a record of 21 wins and four losses. Also, he has garnered enough money to go into early retirement as he is one of the box office fighters in the UFC. According to Forbes, McGregor is the fourth highest paid athlete of 2018, trailing that of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Floyd Mayweather. Along with this, McGregor hasn’t backed down from a challenge and with this, he has achieved a lot in the Octagon. In his first ever boxing event, even in a loss, McGregor surprised many with how long he was able to stand his ground against Floyd Mayweather Jr. back in 2017.
One major reason McGregor may stay retired for good is the legal trouble that he is currently facing. From attacking a bus window to recently stomping on a fan’s cellphone, McGregor has made some head-scratching mistakes in his career. Currently, McGregor was in headlines in a case of sexual assaulting a woman in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland. McGregor hasn’t been charged with a crime but is being heavily investigated. Along with this, a fan who had his cellphone stolen and stomped on repeatedly by McGregor has filed a lawsuit against him back in mid-March. The fan has accused McGregor of battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress in the incident. These lawsuits may derail McGregor’s focus in the UFC.
Even with all of his lawsuits, McGregor may have hinted that he may return to the octagon in a tweet he posted on April 3rd, “I want to move forward, with my fans of all faiths and all backgrounds. All faiths challenge us to be our best selves. It is one world and one for all. Now see you in the Octagon.” Nothing has been confirmed nor denied about McGregor returning back to the Octagon.
Nonetheless, McGregor retired or not, is still one of the biggest figures and greatest fighters in UFC history. Ever since debuting back in 2008, he has dominated the competition in the UFC, and even having an unbelievable 15-win streak from 2011-2015. McGregor is big-time talent and fans can only hope to see him healthy, and finally strutting his way back into the Octagon.