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The Great Irish Exit of Conor McGregor: “No, I’m retired. F*** interviews.”

Dana White and Conor McGregor (Getty Images)

Dana White and Conor McGregor (Getty Images)


The MMA community was stunned Tuesday afternoon when UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor announced on twitter that he was retiring from MMA at the young age of 27. UFC President Dana White appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter after hours of heavy social media speculation to confirm the news and give their side of the tweet.

According to White, McGregor was pulled from UFC 200 on July 9 due to not complying with the media obligations associated with the historic fight card, one of them being a press conference scheduled for Friday in Vegas.

White went on to explain how all the fighters scheduled to appear on the card are on board to appear in Vegas Friday except for McGregor, which is a violation of the bout agreement. Also noting this isn’t a spur of the moment press conference like we saw prior to UFC 196 at a local UFC gym. Reports state that aside from a press conference there is also a photo shoot scheduled as well, sending the budget for the media day well into the seven-figures.

All that reasoning put aside, we’re still left scratching our heads. No help to answering any rumors McGregor refused to be interviewed by an Icelandic reporter for Tuesday simply putting, “No, I’m retired. F*** interviews.”

Hmph, ok then.

McGregor to turn down a press obligation and lose potentially the biggest payday of any MMA fighter to date? I’m not buying it and it doesn’t sound like anyone else is either.

Sports Journalist Charly Arnolt tweeted out Tuesday night that a source claimed McGregor wanted $10M for the main event in July. When the UFC rejected his demands, he announced his retirement.

MMA reporter Jonathan Shrager tweeted out Tuesday night that a McGregor family member confirmed the retirement and claimed Conor felt the promo tour was ‘unrealistic’, more like a mini-world tour.

A mini world tour? Like the one he did leading up to UFC 194 against former featherweight champion Jose Aldo? During that media tour, McGregor was on the top of the world—snatching belts off the table, cutting promos like a pro wrestler and soaking in the spotlight—so what changed? Oh yeah, he lost to Nate Diaz. The same opponent they want him to tour the world with. Hard to have that same energy and high when the guy sitting next to you cut your winning streak short on 11 days-notice.

Now all jab throwing aside, released a video last night featuring Luke Thomas and Ariel Helwani discussing the situation. Helwani, one of the industries most respected reporters, gave insight on the perspective that the reason behind McGregor’s retirement might be in part to the death of Joao Carvalho. Carvalho passed away last week in Ireland after a MMA bout against McGregor’s teammate Charlie Ward.

While the tragic news made its way through the MMA industry last week, it is still very real to the people of Ireland. McGregor was in attendance the night of the fight which led to the unfortunate death of Carvalho.

This also leaves the question of the status of the UFC Featherweight championship. According the UFC rankings, McGregor is still the champion. Top contenders and former champions Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar are scheduled to meet in the octagon for the interim belt at UFC 200, if his retirement is permanent this would most likely turn to a battle for the vacant 145-pound title.

Is this really the end of ‘Mystic Mac’ in the octagon? Only time and Twitter will tell, but if I do know one thing it’s if this isn’t the epitome of an Irish exit, I don’t know what it is.

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Kristine is a Managing Editor for as well as UFC/MMA Lead Writer. She also hosts a column known as Fighting Words.
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