UFC star Conor McGregor announced his retirement from fighting via Twitter on Sunday, and while this isn't the first time he's made such a statement, it seems that it may be for good.
The 31-year-old told ESPN that the game just doesn't excite him anymore and that he had a draft of his retirement tweet typed out two weeks ago. Losing McGregor won't be too devastating for UFC, and president Dana White understands why he decided to call it quits, as he told ESPN's Ariel Helwani:
"Nobody is pressuring anybody to fight. And if Conor McGregor feels he wants to retire, you know my feelings about retirement — you should absolutely do it. And I love Conor. ... There's a handful of people that have made this really fun for me. And he's one of them.
"If that's what Conor is feeling right now — Jon Jones, Jorge Masvidal, I feel you. It's not like I'm going, 'Holy s—, this is crazy, this is nuts.' Nothing is crazy and nuts right now, because everything is crazy and nuts right now, on a certain level. I totally understand it and get it."
McGregor retired a few times before, and each time he decided to return to the ring. He first walked away from the sport in 2016 after refusing to travel to the United States to take part in a news conference for his rematch against Nate Diaz. He returned later that summer and defeated Diaz. McGregor then announced he was retiring again in 2019 but returned to defeat Donald Cerrone in January.
The native of Ireland was going to fight three times in 2020, and while he completed his first fight, the coronavirus pandemic drove a knife into his plans.
McGregor, who is 22-4, has just two UFC losses to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Diaz. He leaves the game ranked eighth on the UFC pound-for-pound list.