Conor McGregor announces ‘retirement’ from combat sports … for a third time

As UFC 250 came to a close and UFC fans were discussing Amanda Nunes’ place among the sport’s all-time greats, Conor McGregor decided to grab the spotlight. McGregor announced, much as he had in 2016 and 2019, that he had retired from fighting.

“Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting,” McGregor tweeted. “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.”

In 2016, McGregor announced that he had “decided to retire young” one month after losing to Nate Diaz at UFC 196. He would fight again a few months later. In 2019, he tweeted, “Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today.”

McGregor returned to the Octagon for the first time since 2018 earlier this year, knocking out Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds at UFC 246 in January. The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion’s latest retirement comes weeks after arguing for a title fight with welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

Much speculation around this “announcement” centers on money and negotiations for the former champion. If that is the case, he joins Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal as the latest examples of fighters pushing to earn a larger check to return to the Octagon during a pandemic.

UFC president Dana White was asked about McGregor’s announcement after UFC 250, saying, “You don’t have to fight. If these guys want to sit out and retire. If that’s what Conor McGregor, Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal are feeling right now. … We’re in a pandemic. The world is a crazy place right now and everybody feels it. I think everybody’s pissed off, confused and been locked in their houses for three months.”

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