Former MMA king Conor McGregor announced in a tweet on Monday night that he was retiring from the sport. The news comes hours after McGregor appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and stated that he and the UFC were negotiating a potential July return for him to the Octagon.
McGregor lost his last MMA bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018 where he lost due to submission.
“We’re in talks for July,” McGregor told the Fallon audience on Monday. “We’ll see what happens, a lot of politics going on. The fight game is a mad game. But like I said, to my fans, I am in shape and I am ready. I have done my piece for the company. I don’t necessarily need to fight. I am set for life. My family is set for life. We are good, but I am eager to fight. So, we’ll see what happens. I’m staying ready.”
UFC president Dana White said that McGregor’s retirement “totally makes sense,” adding that the announcement is legit.
“He has the money to retire, and his [Proper 12] whiskey is KILLIN it,” White told ESPN via text message. “It totally makes sense. If I was him, I would retire too. He’s retiring from fighting. Not from working. The whiskey will keep him busy, and I’m sure he has other things he’s working on. He has been so fun to watch!!! He has accomplished incredible things in this sport. I am so happy for him, and I look forward to seeing him be as successful outside of the Octagon as he was in it.”
It’s not the first “retirement” for McGregor. He retired on social media in 2016, “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.” At the time, McGregor and the UFC were attempting to broker a deal for the beloved MMA champion to fight at UFC 200. That fight ultimately fell through but he returned to the Octagon in August 2016 for a rematch with Nate Diaz.
McGregor’s most publicized moment in sports came two years ago when he stepped out of the Octagon and into the boxing ring for a one time only super fight between he and Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather won with a tenth round knockout before announcing his retirement from boxing. He exits MMA with a 21-4 career record, including stints as both the UFC Featherweight and Lightweight champion.