McGregor's retirement motivation questioned
Conor McGregor has listed a lack of motivation and too much time being kept on the sidelines as the reasons behind his most recent retirement.
The UFC superstar spoke regularly about wanting to fight three or four times in 2020 after a long absence from the sport, but was put out to pasture by the company after KO'ing Donald Cerrone in January.
"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 had my goals, my plans, the season. I had everything laid out. Obviously the world has gone bleeding bonkers at the minute. There's f*** all happening at the minute," he added.
"They want to throw me up and down weights and offer me stupid fights. I don't really give a f***. I'm over it."
The coronavirus has put everyone's plans out this year but McGregor also appears to be holding the UFC responsible for making him wait for the lightweight division to sort itself out.
McGregor was earmarked to face the winner of a title fight between champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson scheduled for May, but it became complicated when Nurmagomedov pulled out and replacement Justin Gaethje defeated Ferguson.
Now the UFC is planning for McGregor to face the winner of Nurmagomedov-Gaethje. There's business reasons behind the delay of getting the Irish star back, because the UFC will be sacrificing around $20 million if it holds a McGregor fight before fans are allowed back in stadiums.
But you can tell he's getting frustrated at all the waiting around.
"They should have just kept the ball rolling. I mean, why are they pushing (Nurmagomedov-Gaethje) back to September? You know what's going to happen in September, something else is going to happen in September, and that's not going to happen," McGregor said.
"I laid out a plan and a method that was the right move, the right methods to go with. And they always want to baulk 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."
Gaethje mocked McGregor after he wrote "Hey guys I've decided to retire from fighting.
Thank you all for the amazing memories! What a ride it's been!" on Sunday evening.
"Thankfully all of the elderly are still hiding in their homes," Gaethje tweeted, referencing an incident where McGregor punched an older man in a pub last year. "This guy is on another bender."
Other fighters believed it was a power move as McGregor looks to book his next fight - or simply an attention grab.
McGregor ain’t retiring, he’s negotiating— Funky Ben (@Benaskren) June 7, 2020
UFC president Dana White isn't going to talk McGregor out of retiring - at least publicly.
"The amount of people I have gunning at me right now is insane," White said.
"So if that's what Conor's feeling right now … on a certain level, I understand it.
"Nobody is pressuring anybody to fight. And if Conor McGregor feels he wants to retire, you know my feelings about retirement - 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.
"It's not like I'm going, 'Holy s***, this is crazy, this is nuts.' Nothing is crazy and nuts right now, because everything is crazy and nuts right now, on a certain level. I totally understand it and get it."
McGregor has now announced his retirement three times.
In April 2016, he tweeted: "I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya's later."
Then in March 2019, following his loss to Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, he tweeted: "Hey guys quick announcement, I've decided to retire from the sport formally known as Mixed Martial Art today. I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition."
It appears his two children believe him this time.
But is this a hint from his coach it's another false alarm?
At age 31 Jordan abruptly retired from basketball before the 1993–94 NBA season, he returned to the Bulls in March 1995 and led them to three additional championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998, as well as a then-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 NBA season.— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) June 7, 2020
Originally published as Con artist: 'Guy is on another bender'
Conor out here tryin to steal the Amanda’s shine smh— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) June 7, 2020