For the third time in four years, Conor McGregor has announced his retirement.
Fighters announcing their retirement as part of a strategy to get what they want from the UFC is such a prevalent theme right now that it’s no surprise the move is met with a lot of cynicism from fans. What it should really signal is a deep, systematic problem with the way the UFC is currently operating. They’ve never been the most fighter friendly company to work with, and that has only gotten worse over the past year. Now even Conor McGregor has decided he’s sick of dealing with them (again).
“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. They should have just kept the ball rolling. I mean, why are they pushing Khabib vs. 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.”
“I laid out a plan and a method that was the right move, the right methods to go with. And they 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 for the interim title — and just kept the ball rolling.”
Not to say that was the only fight McGregor was willing to take. There’s also the proposed Anderson Silva fight, another match cooked up on Twitter between idle fighters that the UFC didn’t like and therefore shut down.
“I had my goals, my plans, the season. I had everything laid out,” McGregor said. “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. There’s nothing there for me. I’m trying to get excited. I’m trying my best. And when the Anderson one came along, I was like, yeah, s**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. I would go in there and put him away, Ariel, and then what would happen? They’d say he’s old and he’s over the hill and he’s past his prime and all.”
What it really comes down to as far as how we’re reading it is McGregor feeling lost in the shuffle as UFC dealt with the fallout of getting back on track following the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I don’t know. It’s just crazy,” McGregor said. “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 [Silva] talk. I’m just over it, man.”
“We’ll see what the future holds. But for right now, for the immediate future, 2020, all the best to it.”