UFC: Conor McGregor Announces Retirement Again, Dana White Blames Pandemic

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    Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone
    Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone square off ahead of UFC 246. Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

    Fool me once, and all that. Or maybe it’s the boy who cried wolf. In any case, UFC star Conor McGregor has gone and retired again. On Twitter, anyway.

    This isn’t the first time McGregor has “retired” — who can forget his infamous “so long, and thanks for all the cheese” tweet a couple of years back. Still, this announcement came a little out of left field, taking many by surprise. McGregor is coming off an impressive win, at UFC 246 in January. A forty-second demolition job of Cowboy Cerrone.

    Speaking to ESPN, McGregor elaborated on his comments.

    “The game just does not excite me, and that’s that,” said McGregor, upset at the lack of options presented to him. “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.”

    The UFC’s inability to book McGregor against the likes of Justin Gaethje and Anderson Silva seems to be a sticking point.

    “They should have just kept the ball rolling,” he stated, questioning the need to push Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje back to September. “You know what’s going to happen in September? Something else is going to happen in September, and [the fight]’s not going to happen. I laid out a plan and a method that was the right 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 to show some kind of power. They should have just done the fight — me and Justin for the interim title — and just kept the ball rolling.”

    Negotiation tactic? Maybe. But then, we thought that about Henry Cejudo. Jose Aldo and Petr Yan are about to fight for his title.

    Meanwhile, speaking to reporters including Cageside Press at the UFC 250 post-fight press conference, Dana White gave his own take on McGregor’s retirement.

    “I’ll remind everybody that we’re in a pandemic. The world is a crazy place right now with all these things that are going on,” White said following Saturday’s card, the second since the UFC returned to Nevada. “I think that everybody feels this right now. There’s no fans. We can’t travel the fights around. I think everybody is pissed off, confused, been locked up in their houses for three-and-a-half months. People are wearing masks. There’s protests. There’s riots. The list goes on and on.”

    So stir crazy, then? White has suggested in the past that he wasn’t keen on having McGregor fight in an empty arena. “It’s tough to give up on a Conor McGregor gate. It’s tough to do,” he said, barely a month ago. Yet if that were the case, and the UFC waited, McGregor might not fight until 2021. Something that no doubt rankles the Irish fighter, who intended to stay busy this year.

    If you had to gamble, you’d expect McGregor to go back on this retirement as well. But stranger this have happened in MMA. Far, far stranger.

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