Conor McGregor sent shockwaves through the MMA world by announcing his retirement this weekend.
The Irishman wrote on his Twitter page: “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.”
The announcement came in stark contrast to all of McGregor’s claims throughout 2020 that he wanted to fight more consistently in the UFC after just two bouts in four years.
However, it seems as though the events of the coronavirus pandemic have applied the brakes too sharply for McGregor to maintain the motivation needed to compete at the top of the sport.
McGregor declares his retirement
This is despite the fact ‘Notorious’ was so vocal about his plans for the lightweight division after Justin Gaethje scored a stunning victory over Tony Ferguson at UFC 249.
Most fight fans had assumed that McGregor was indeed motivated by a potential rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov, who defeated him by a submission during a dramatic 2018 clash.
But that all seems to have flown out the window with McGregor seemingly stepping away from the fight game, though I hope we’ve given you ample reason to feel skeptical about the tweet.
Rogan doubts McGregor’s retirement
Besides, McGregor has previously announced in 2016 and 2019 that he was retiring, only to reverse the decision, and the timing of the statement conveniently clashed with UFC 250.
Enter Joe Rogan. The comedian, podcaster and general MMA fanatic was on hand for the UFC during their latest event at the weekend and was inevitably quizzed about McGregor’s decision.
But to say that Rogan felt like many MMA fans when they first saw the news would be the mother of all understatements, immediately batting it away as a publicity stunt from the Irishman.
“I don’t buy it for a second,” the 52-year-old remarked on ESPN. “I think Conor McGregor is getting you to talk about him and you just did!
“What better way to get people to talk about him when there’s a spectacular fight filled with people dominating? What he did was sort of hijack the whole situation and say he’s retiring. I’m not buying it.”
What we have here is a ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ situation.
McGregor has falsely claimed he’s retired for good twice now, so it’s inevitable that people are going to be skeptical when he announces it a third time despite seemingly being excited to fight again.
It means that when McGregor does actually retire – and yes, that might have been this weekend – it’s not really going to sink in for people unless he goes a whole year without pulling a U-turn.
But if you really are retiring, Conor, credit to you, but we take no shame in admitting that the fight game will miss you dearly. We don’t want to buy it just as Rogan doesn’t.