Whether it was an elaborate troll job or a sincere sentiment, UFC superstar Conor McGregor caused an uproar on Tuesday when he announced his intent to “retire young” from MMA.
“I have decided to retire young,” McGregor wrote via Twitter. “Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.”
I have decided to retire young.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya's later.
Early speculation regarding the reason for Irishman’s post covered everything from a possible stalemate in contract negotiations with the UFC to an attempt to garner attention during a week when Jon Jones is scheduled to make his Octagon return on Saturday.
McGregor was cageside last week when Brazilian fighter Joao “Rafeiro” Carvalho died after suffering a knockout loss at a Total Extreme Fighting Event in Dublin last week.
“To see a young man doing what he loves, competing for a chance at a better life, and then to have it taken away is truly heartbreaking,” McGregor wrote on Facebook. “We are just men and women doing something we love in the hope of a better life for ourselves and our families. Nobody involved in combat sports of any kind wants to see this. It is such a rare occurrence that I don't know how to take this.”
If McGregor is indeed serious, it would be a major blow for the UFC. He is currently scheduled to face Nate Diaz in a welterweight rematch at UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on July 9. “The Notorious” one was submitted by Diaz in the second round in their initial meeting at UFC 196, an event which Dana White hinted did in the neighborhood of 1.5 million pay-per-view buys.
When McGregor’s tweet began to draw interest on Tuesday, Diaz couldn’t resist making a similar announcement.
I guess my work here is done I'm retiring too:v::facepunch:— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) April 19, 2016