Conor McGregor On Latest Retirement: ‘The Game Just Does Not Excite Me’
By Ross Markey
Last night, following Amanda Nunes’ successful defence of her featherweight throne, opposite, Felicia Spencer at UFC 250, former two-weight world champion, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor, took to his official Twitter account – announcing his retirement from mixed martial arts, for the third time in four years.
McGregor, 31 – last featured at UFC 246 in January, stopping Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone with strikes in just forty-seconds. The victory marked McGregor’s first since his stoppage of Eddie Alvarez in November of 2016, and his first Octagon appearance in fifteen months, following a UFC 229 defeat to arch-rival, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The Dubliner sits at #4 in the official UFC lightweight rankings, and in a somewhat surprising decision, announced his latest retirement last night, despite explaining how 2020 featured a “season” consisting of at least three Octagon outings.
“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 (Margaret) I love you! Whatever you desire it’s yours ❤️”
McGregor had earmarked a potential second Octagon appearance of the year with a return this July, but in an interview with ESPN reporter, Ariel Helwani – the Crumlin native explained how “the game just does not excite me (him).” It also appears McGregor is frustrated with the promotion’s decision to host a unification bout between the aforementioned Khabib, and recently minted interim lightweight titleholder, Justin Gaethje, in September.
“The game just does not excite me, and that’s that,” McGregor explained. “All this waiting around. There’s nothing happening. I’m going through opponent options, and there’s nothing really there at the minute. There’s nothing that’s exciting me.”
They should have just kept the ball rolling. I mean, why are they pushing [Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje] back to 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 righ 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 and show some kind of power. They should have just done the fight – me and Justin (Gaethje) for the interim title – and just kept the ball rolling.”
As well as his obvious frustration surrounding his next potential step, the SBG mainstay explained how “There’s just no buzz for me (him).”
“I’m a bit bored of the game,” McGregor said. “I’m here watching the fight (UFC 250). I watched the last show – the [Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns] show – I watched the show tonight. I’m just not excited about the game, Ariel (Helwani). I don’t know if it’s no crowd. I don’t know what it is. There’s just no buzz for me.”
The former lightweight and featherweight champion then expressed his disappointment in the promotion’s plans to “throw me (him) up and down weights and offer me (him) stupid fights.”
“I had my goals, my plans, the season. I had everything laid out,” McGregor told Helwani. “Obviously, the world has gone bleedin’ bonkers at the minute. There’s f*ck all happening at the minute. They (the UFC) want to throw me up and down weights and offer me stupid fights. I don’t really give a f*ck. I’m over it.”
A July return was reportedly the landing pad for McGregor’s second outing, however, with Gaethje preoccupied with Khabib, Tony Ferguson expected to take some time away from the sport, Jorge Masvidal in limbo in regards to negotiations – the potential welcoming party for a McGregor return has dwindled considerably.
Former middleweight champion, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva offered to meet with McGregor in a catchweight pairing – an offer which got the Dubliner’s attention at first, but upon review, he explained how a meeting of the two wouldn’t be, “rewarded”
“There’s nothing there for me,” McGregor explained. “I’m trying to get excited. I’m trying to get excited. I’m trying my best. And when the Anderson (Silva) one came along, I was like, ‘Yeah, sh*t, that’s a mad fight’. And then everyone said he’s old and over the hill. I was like, ‘What? Fighting a former light heavyweight and the middleweight GOAT, and the actual GOAT in my eyes, that’s not a rewardable fight?’ And you know, you’re actually right. It wouldn’t be rewarded. I would go in there and put him away, Ariel, and then what would happen? They’d say he’s old and he’s over the hill and he’s past his prime and all.”
“I don’t know. It’s just crazy,” McGregor told. “I was cutting to 155(-pounds), and then because I asked for 155(-pounds), they wanted to show power and stomp all over me. I don’t know why they do this. But, it was taken from me and then pushed back. So then I’m thinking I don’t want to be cutting if I’m fighting at 170(-pounds). I have to be careful here, My body has to be correct to the weight. And then the 176(-pound) [Anderson Silva] talk. I’m just over it, man.”
McGregor explained how his mother, Margaret had purchased a new home – but maintained his intention to sit out this year, once more.
“My mother is out there picking out a beautiful home, an absolutely beautiful home, her dream home.” McGregor said. “It would likely be her final home, my family’s final home for them, a retirement home. I’m very, very proud to do this, and that’s it. We’ll see what the future holds. But for right now, for the immediate future, 2020, all the best to it.”