Ireland’s former two-weight UFC champion Conor McGregor says he has “retired from the sport formally known as ‘Mixed Martial Art'”.
The 30-year-old announced his decision on social media on Tuesday.
“I wish all my old colleagues well going forward,” he added.
McGregor’s last fight ended in defeat, when he was beaten by Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018 – the Russian winning the lightweight contest by a fourth-round submission.
It was his first fight in the octagon in two years and the defeat was marred by a post-fight brawl which led to both fighters being fined and suspended.
Since making his mixed martial arts debut in 2007, former trainee plumber McGregor established himself as one of the sport’s leading fighters.
How McGregor transcended UFC
McGregor won the interim featherweight title with a knockout of Jose Aldo inside 13 seconds. While a loss on his welterweight debut to Nate Diaz ended a 15-fight winning streak, the Irishman won the rematch five months later.
A victory over Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight championship saw McGregor become the sport’s first dual-weight champion.
And at the peak of his powers he transcended the sport, going on to face five-weight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather in ‘The Money Fight’.
That lucrative affair earned McGregor an estimated $30m (£23m), and attracted more than a million pay per view buyers in the UK and four million in the United States, with the American winning in the 10th round by technical knockout.
However, McGregor’s time in mixed martial arts has also been marred by controversy.
In 2018, he was ordered to have anger management training and perform five days of community service by a court in return for criminal charges being dropped after he had attacked a bus containing rival UFC fighters.
Video footage appeared to show McGregor throwing a railing at a bus carrying Khabib and a number of other UFC fighters.
Earlier this month McGregor was arrested in Miami for allegedly smashing a fan’s phone as they tried to take pictures of him.
McGregor, who finishes with a record of 21 wins and four defeats, said: “I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!”
Has he really retired?
This is not the first time that McGregor has announced his retirement from the sport.
In April 2016, McGregor tweeted: “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese,” and was then not included on the UFC 200 card.
But he quickly issued a retraction outlining that he had instead fallen out with the sport’s bosses over promotional work.
In September 2018, McGregor launched an Irish whiskey brand.
Following McGregor’s announcement UFC President Dana White told MMA writers in the US: “He has the money to retire. 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 look forward to seeing him be as successful outside the octagon as he was in it.”
However, McGregor’s latest statement arrives after an interview aired on an American television show, in which he claimed he was in negotiations with the UFC about a return to fighting in July.
In that appearance he said rematches against Diaz and Aldo would appeal to him and he has also said he would send Mayweather’s “head into the bleachers,” if the pair were to meet again.
“I’ll be here ready for him. I’ll be here ready and confident,” he said.
“Next camp, and I do believe it should happen, I mean, why not? Why not? If I have sparring partners in my camp that march forward, trust me when I tell you, I’ll send his head into the bleachers.”
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