McGregor retires again, Mayweather and Dana White react

Conor McGregor (blue gloves) before his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov (red gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena
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Ricky Dimon

UFC· 1 year ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The most well-known fighter in UFC history is retiring—again.

Conor McGregor announced his retirement from the sport for a third time following the conclusion of UFC 250 action on Saturday night. The 31-year-old admitted that he has lost inspiration and motivation.

“The game just does not excite me, and that’s that,” McGregor told ESPN. “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…. I’m a bit bored of the game. I’m here watching [UFC 250]…. I’m just not excited about the game. I don’t know if it’s no crowd; I don’t know what it is. There’s just no buzz for me.”

UFC was one of the first sports leagues to return amidst the coronavirus pandemic, albeit without fans in attendance. Now it will be without its biggest star.

McGregor’s first retirement came in March of 2016 before he returned a few months later. The Irishman retired again in April of 2019 only to get back in the game this January. His latest comeback fight was a 40-second victory over Donald Cerrone. McGregor boasts a 22-4 lifetime MMA record with 19 knockouts, and none of his four losses have come by knockout (all four by submission). His two UFC setbacks have come against Nate Diaz (2016) and Khabib Nurmagomedov (2018). He avenged his loss to Diaz by winning their rematch just four months after the initial encounter.

“If Conor McGregor feels he wants to retire…you know my feelings about retirement,” UFC president Dana White commented. “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.”

Unsurprisingly, McGregor did not entirely close the door on another potential return. He only insisted that he will not fight again in 2020.

If he does come back, count Floyd Mayweather Jr. among those waiting. Mayweather and McGregor fought a boxing match against each other in November of 2017, when arguably the greatest pound-for-pound boxer ever predictably defeated the mixed martial artist by a TKO in the 10th round. The 43-year-old American was quick to comment on McGregor’s Instagram retirement post.

“If I’m not mistaken, didn’t you tell Mike Tyson you could beat me if we fought a second time? Now you’re quitting! I thought you wanted to beat the best? Well, if you decide to come back, I will be waiting to punish you again.”

In the meantime, UFC life obviously goes on and there are whole host of fights to watch and wager on. Continue to check out our daily UFC expert picks, including for UFC 251 this weekend.

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