Tuesday 25 October 2016

MMA insiders, fighters, media and fans react to Conor McGregor's retirement tweet

Tom Rooney

Published 19/04/2016 | 22:54

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor

The reaction in the MMA world to the news that Conor McGregor could be set to retire in the coming days has proved as widespread as it has varied.

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On Tuesday night, the UFC featherweight champion posted a tweet strongly intimating his immediate departure from the world of prize-fighting, which subsequently sent social media into a state of unrest.

Within minutes, speculation regarding the veracity of the tweet spread like wildfire; fans, journalists, fellow fighters, and everyone in between posited theories, while McGregor, currently in Iceland, remained silent.

Joe Rogan, who has been a UFC colour commentator for almost 20 years, heard about the development while recording his podcast and was explicitly sceptical. 

He doubted that the Dubliner would hang up his gloves on the back of his most crushing defeat, particularly with a rematch against Nate Diaz booked for July 9 at UFC 200.

"He's decided to retire young which means like 34. Unless he got fucking head-kicked today and knocked into oblivion, the idea that he's going to go out on a loss like that to Nate Diaz,” he said.

Yet SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh all but confirmed his pupil’s tweet.

The notion was further reinforced by Ariel Helwani, the foremost MMA journalist, who has enjoyed a long working relationship with McGregor and many others close to the summit of the UFC.

The MMAFighting.com reporter appeared certain that the former plumber was calling time on his eight year professional career.  Nate Diaz saw the lighter side of the news, while UFC veteran Donald Cerrone, a longtime verbal sparring partner of McGregor, was less than impressed.

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