Conor McGregor is a household name. For fans of MMA, he’s one of the notorious fighters who is constantly in the spotlight. He’s held a belt in two weight divisions, fought some big names, and is of course always at the front of controversy. He’s a joy to watch in the ring; his skills definitely shine through. And even if you’re not a Conor fan, it’s always a pleasure watching him fight. Even those that can’t stand the boisterous champ can’t help but tune into his fights in hopes of this “being the one” that finally dethrones the champ.
Even for non-MMA fans, Conor McGregor is a familiar face and name. Many know the loud champ from interviews, fight promos, and crazy incidents that the Irish fighter has found himself in. Regardless of how far removed you are from the world of mixed martial arts, you know who Conor McGregor is.
People who weren’t previously fans of the sport have also been roped in because of the champ. He’s entertaining and whether you’re tuning in to watch him knock heads off or hopefully get his own knocked off, he’s a big money maker for the sport. Dana White and the UFC have made some serious bucks off of Conor McGregor. Even following his losses and the bus incident, fans were quick to tune into fights and al things McGregor. And regardless of how many times Dana White lost his temper with the fighter, he couldn’t seem to let him go. After all, he’s a huge draw.
All of this is why a tweet from the UFC fighter that happened early in the morning on Tuesday left the world in shock.
McGregor announces his retirement
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the MMA world was in an uproar. Fans all around the world headed to Twitter and other fan sources after the former MMA champ shocked the world with a tweet announcing his retirement.
In the tweet, Conor McGregor @thenotoriousmma wrote,
“I’ve got a quick announcement for everyone. I have decided that it’s time for me to retire formally from MMA. As of today, I’m no longer a Mixed Martials Arts fighter. I wish all of my old competitors the best in moving forward with the sport, but it’s not for me anymore. Now, I am joined by former partners of this venue who have long since retired. Pina Coladas are on me fellas!”
Even though Conor’s fights have been sparing as of lately and even after a suspension, people were always quick to tune in with anything regarding the former champ. Many were constantly wondering when and with who his next fight would be. And even though he’s been more of a shadow as of late in the MMA game, people were quick to hit social media for answers. Why is he retiring? Is he serious this time? What will happen to the sport? People turned to Dana White for the answers to these and many more questions.
According to Dana White, the UFC 229 card raked in a staggering 2.4 million pay-per-view buys. This was a record for an MMA event. Then in August of 2017, McGregor faced undefeated champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match. This fight raked in 4.3 million payer-per-view buys in just North America alone. “Conor got more than $100 million for this fight,” Dana White said, “and his net worth is a big reason for his decision to retire.” He also went on to tell the Associated Press via text that Conor’s retirement just makes sense at this point in the game.
“Look, he’s got the money to easily retire now from just the last two fights alone. Plus, his whiskey sales are through the roof. It’s incredibly popular and he’s making a f*cking killing off of it,” White said. Despite less than favorable reviews regarding the taste and quality of Proper No. Twelve Whiskey, McGregor’s whiskey brand, fans are still drinking it up and it continues to be a top seller. Undoubtedly, this is because of the name attached to it. Who wouldn’t want to drink an MMA legend’s whiskey?
“If I was in his shoes, I’d retire from fighting too. And no, I’m not talking about working in general. Conor isn’t the type to just lay back on the beach and do nothing. His whiskey brand will definitely keep him busy and I’m sure he has other projects in the works. He’s been incredibly fun to watch and has accomplished great things in this sport. I’m happy for him. I really am. I can’t wait to see how successful he’ll become outside of the octagon cage. I know he’ll be just as good at whatever he puts his mind to as he was at fighting. There’s good sh!t ahead for that man,” Dana said. And despite all the heated exchanges between UFC president Dana White and former champ Conor McGregor, it’s nice to see that there’s still a bond there.
The king of talking sh!t and then backing it up
Bruce Buffer may be the veteran voice of the octagon, but Conor McGregor is the king of talking sh!t and then backing it up. Conor McGregor is infamous for riling up his opponents and trash talking them. Trash talking is just part of the sport and fighters like Michael Bisping and Chael Sonnen have been doing it for ages. “It’s a great way to get the fans hyped and to raise ticket sales. You’d be an absolute idiot to not call out top contenders and trash talk them,” Sonnen said.
It’s the stuff of legends when we look back on how Conor McGregor mentally broke UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. There was a lot of trash talking exchanged both and after the fight, but McGregor broke the fighter by disposing of him in just 13 short seconds inside of the octagon. He was quick to attack Aldo afterwards, further rubbing salt in the wound. But hey, he’s the king of trash talk.
However, Conor’s trash talking has definitely crossed the line on multiple occasions. It’s one thing to call out Wanderlei Silva by saying, “until I met you I didn’t know they could stack sh!t that high,” as Sonnen said, but it’s another to threaten to kill your opponent like Conor did when he was facing off against Nate Diaz. “I really like Vegas, you know? Three bodies have been buried out there by yours truly. And Saturday night, I might just be putting a fourth to rest. When the dirt’s that clean and soft, it’s easy to scoop up and put a body in it. I’ll continue to do that,” Conor said. Of course, he went on to win against Diaz.
Going back to Aldo, Conor also crossed the line from trash talking into just poor sportsmanship when he started describing how he’d invade the Favelas, or slums, of Rio de Janeiro on horseback. “If this was a different time, I’d have killed anyone in those slums who wasn’t fit to work and Aldo might have been one of them,” he said. Once again, he won the fight shockingly quick against Aldo and we’re wondering how much that comment affected the former champ.
However, Conor McGregor is quick to defend his words. “I don’t trash talk,” he said, “I speak the truth and if it hurts, f*ck it right?” Despite being recognized as the king of trash talk, Conor doesn’t actually see it that way. In his opinion, it’s something honest and simple. He’s speaking the truth about his opponents, not lies. Of course, this doesn’t stop his comments from being nothing short of trash talk and offensive.
Regardless of how he defends it, telling the press “I’m not against black people, that’s f*cking ridiculous! I’m half black myself. Why would I be against my own kind? I’m black from the belly button down” is in fact trash talk. However, when you can back it up as often as Conor McGregor can, it’s easy to forgive some of the less heinous remarks.
His legacy, for better and for worse
Like all fighters and top names in the sport Conor McGregor will leave behind a legacy. For starters, he will leave behind the fact that at one point, he held two belts in two different weight divisions; a feat that isn’t easy to accomplish. In fact, he is one of just five UFC champions that have reigned in more than one weight division. This is an accomplishment that nobody, including Conor McGregor takes lightly. “I’m truly blessed to have two championship belts. I’m a badass mother*cker! Come get me! You can’t touch me!” Conor was quick to boast about his accomplishments and fan ate it up.
Conor McGregor also stepped out of his comfort zone and the world he knows when he faced off against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing ring. For those who aren’t familiar with either sport, for an MMA fighter to step into a boxing ring is a huge deal and they’re at an immediate disadvantage. Most boxing champs have incredible stamina; they’re prepped to go for much, much longer than MMA fighters who are accustomed to 3 to 5 short rounds. McGregor also wasn’t able to utilize all of the tools in his belt per say; he couldn’t utilize kicks, takedowns, and other methods that would allow him to get the upper hand. Instead, he had to “stand and bang”. Ultimately, McGregor lost the bout via TKO but a lot of respect was thrown his way for stepping into the ring. “You gotta give it to Conor for being brave enough to step into the ring with that animal. Floyd is a master of his craft and a beast! Props to Conor for stepping in,” fans were quick to say.
Of course, Conor McGregor will also leave behind a legacy of astounding fights, blowout pay-per-view buys, and more. However, McGregor will also leave behind some unfavorable things in addition to his many accomplishments.
In his most recent fight, Conor McGregor squared off against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in what was one of the biggest grudge matches in UFC history. The match ultimately ended in a submission loss to Khabib, and one that we’re sure heavily affected Conor. Prior to the event, Khabib was “picking” on one of Conor’s training mates and friends. Conor quickly decided that this wouldn’t stand. Instead of taking it out on Khabib in the ring, Conor took it a step further… In fact, he took it several steps too far.
Conor flew several of his friends out to one of the UFC events where he knew Khabib would be present. Conor and his gang slipped through security and attacked the buses carrying not only Khabib, but other fighters. Conor and his crew hurled insults and threats and then Conor himself hurled a metal dolly at the bus, which shattered the windows and injured some of the fighters on board. Chiesa and Borg were forced to withdraw from their fights due to injuries and Rose, who was also on board, has PTSD from the incident. “I’m afraid to leave my home,” she told the press. Conor was forced to pay a fine and was suspended for 6 months due to his actions. He also took anger management courses and did community service as part of his punishment.
However, the bull doesn’t stop there. McGregor has had more than just a few run-ins with the United States law. McGregor was charged with criminal mischief and strong-arm robbery (both are felonies) in Miami. This happened after Conor “stomped” on a man and then took his cellphone outside of the Fontainebleau Hotel. Why did Conor do this? Well, according to the victim he was trying to take a picture of the UFC fighter when Conor “snapped” and viciously attacked him. The man, 22-year-old Ahmed Abdirzak, is suing Conor for $15,000 in unspecified damages. Conor also faced jail time for his actions.
Conor finishes is legacy with a professional MMA record of 21 wins and 4 losses. He also has a boxing record of 0 wins and 1 loss.
This isn’t his first retirement
While a lot of the world was left in shock at the announcement, many were rolling their eyes when Conor tweeted out his retirement message. This isn’t the first time the notorious Irishman has taken to Twitter to announce his retirement and according to many fans, it won’t be the last either.
In April of 2016, McGregor tweeted out that he had “made the decision to retire young”. This came just one month after his loss to Nate Diaz. The tweet left the world in shock and people couldn’t believe that he was stepping away from the sport. “He has so much potential!” “He’s too young!” “He’s got plenty of time to grow in the UFC!” Fans were quick to bolster up their champion. However just two days later, he reversed his decision. He said he was going to back better and stronger than ever. “You’re going to see a new Conor mcf*cking Gregor in the ring!” He touted. Four months later, Conor McGregor stepped back into the ring and beat Nate Diaz at UFC 202. He then went on to win the UFC lightweight title against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. This was in November 2016, and would be his last victory in the octagon.
Ronda Rousey, a former UFC star and champion, was also quick to dismiss McGregor’s retirement. “It’s definitely an interesting way to retire and it’s very cryptic. We’ll have to wait and see how permanent it really is,” she told ESPN shortly after the tweet. “However, if he does actually want to retire, he’s definitely earned it.”
As Ronda Rousey said, we’ll have to wait and see as to whether or not the former UFC champ is serious about his retirement this time.
Do you think this is the last we’ll see of Conor McGregor?
Obviously this won’t be the last we see of the loud-mouthed former champ. Conor McGregor is just as good at staying in the spotlight and staying relevant as he is in the ring. So undoubtedly, we haven’t see the last of The Notorious MMA. But have we seen the last of him in the ring or do you think he’ll return? And if he does return, how long do you expect it’ll take him to announce that he’s coming back? After all, it only took 2 short days for him to say that he’s coming back after his first retirement announcement. We also want to know what you think of Conor McGregor. Are you a diehard fan like so many of us are? Do you love to hate him? Or can you simply not stand him and are hoping that this really is the end of his career? We also want to know what your favorite fight of his was and why. Let us know in the comment section below! We’d love to hear from you!