Former two division UFC champion Conor McGregor explained the reasons behind his decision to walk away from the sport of mixed martial arts.
Late Saturday night, following the UFC 250 pay-per-view event from Las Vegas, McGregor took to social media and announced that he was retiring from MMA.
McGregor had officially retired from MMA on at least two other occasions.
He retired for the second time in early 2019, but then returned to the cage in January of this year, when he knocked out Donald Cerrone in one round. It was his first bout since suffering a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2018.
McGregor’s decision comes at a very tense point in the UFC’s business.
The company’s president, Dana White, has been feuding with company stars Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal – who are both openly demanding far better compensation to fight again.
White explains that he can’t offer tremendous purse to fighters like Jones, Masvidal and even McGregor – due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Because of the current restrictions, the UFC is unable to stage events with an audience – which in turn cuts out a site fee, all revenue from the gate, and merchandise money from live events.
McGregor explained, that like Jones and Masvidal, he was having his own problems with the UFC.
“I laid out a plan and a method that was the right move, the right methods to go with,” said McGregor to ESPN MMA. “And [the UFC] always want to balk 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 [Gaethje] for the interim title — and just kept the ball rolling.
“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–k all happening at the minute. They want to throw me up and down weights and offer me stupid fights. I don’t really give a f–k. I’m over it.”
“I was cutting to 155, and then because I asked for 155, they wanted to show power and stomp all over me. I don’t know why they do this. But it was taken from me and then pushed back. So then I’m thinking I don’t want to be cutting if I’m fighting at 170. I have to be careful here. My body has to be correct to the weight. And then the 176 [pound fight with Anderson Silva] talk. I’m just over it, man.
“I’m trying to get excited. I’m trying my best. And when the Anderson one came along, I was like, yeah, sh-t, that’s a mad fight. And then everyone said he’s old and over the hill. I was, like, ‘What? Fighting a former light heavyweight and the middleweight GOAT, and the actual GOAT in my eyes, that’s not a rewardable fight?’ And you know, you’re actually right. It wouldn’t be rewarded. They’d say he’s old and he’s over the hill and he’s past his prime and all.”
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