Irish MMA star Conor McGregor has revealed he is retiring from UFC, again.
McGregor, who is the biggest star in the UFC, made the revelation immediately after Amanda Nunes beat Felicia Spencer by UD at UFC 250. He made the announcement on his Twitter page, saying: “Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting. Thank you all for the amazing memories! What a ride it’s been!”
He has only just returned after his last retirement, returning and beating Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 249 in January, a bout in which he knocked Cerrone out in just 40 seconds. Whilst there was no firm favorite for who he should face next, ‘The Notorious One’ as he is known could either have squared off against Anderson Silva, Jorge Masvidal or get a mouth-watering rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov. All three would have been headline fights for the 31-year-old, who is never far from controversy.
He is well known for his stunts and antics outside the Octagon. His press conferences often descend into arguments and controversy, whilst he has also fallen foul of the UFC hierarchy after taking things too far. CNN report that he was banned for six months after a post-match brawl with Khabib Nurmagomedov following their 2018 matchup, which led to his second retirement in 2019.
However, McGregor is also a huge box office draw, with some outlets reporting he has earned up to $200 million during his career. He made his first appearance at UFC On Fuel against Marcus Brimmage, before debuting at beating long time stars like Dustin Poirier. He then shot to fame when he defeated Jose Aldo in December 2015, raising eyebrows across MMA. In a UFC Champions graphic by Bwin Sports, it explains how Aldo was one of the longest reigning champions in the organization until McGregor beat him at UFC 194. McGregor was later stripped of the title after stepping up to Welterweight, where he lost his first bout against Nate Diaz. He bounced back and defeated Diaz, before stepping back into the Lightweight division and beating Eddie Alvarez.
Whilst he is devastating in the Octagon, he is a showman out of it and his boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. helped turn him into a world superstar. Forbes estimates that McGregor made $85 million from the bout, which ended in a 10th round technical knockout for Mayweather.
UFC fans will now await developments, with the hope being this is just another publicity stunt. McGregor timed his announcement for the end of UFC 250 at a time when fans were going to be discussing his next move. He had been told to wait for a rematch with Nurmagomedov and had challenged Silva, but he has also been known to use retirement as a bargaining chip. TMZ stated that fans did not believe McGregor this time around and are likely waiting to see what the next play is.
UFC President, Dana White will not want to see the back of the Irish fighter, who might be controversial but who also keeps the UFC brand flying high. His return against Cerrone impressed critics on both sides of the ocean and he helps keep the brand in the news and in people’s minds.
However, if this really is goodbye, the UFC will be saying adios to one of its biggest stars, capable of adding plenty of zeroes onto a pay-per-view event.
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