Tuesday 23 April 2019

'If I was him, I would retire too' - Dana White says Conor McGregor announcement is genuine

UFC President Dana White (L) and Conor McGregor
UFC President Dana White (L) and Conor McGregor
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 14: Dana White splits Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor apart during the Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Conor McGregor World Press Tour at SSE Arena on July 14, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Beaten: Conor McGregor with UFC boss Dana White after his defeat in Las Vegas. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Harry Clarke

UFC chief Dana White believes Conor McGregor's retirement announcement is genuine and not a publicity stunt.

The Irishman, who has a 21-4 record, said on his Twitter account on Tuesday morning that he had decided to call it a day and wished his former colleagues well.

McGregor, 30, returned to the octagon last October after a hiatus of nearly two years where he fought Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight strap.

The Russian retained his UFC lightweight title when he beat McGregor with a fourth-round submission but the event was marred by a post-fight brawl which led to both fighters being fined and suspended.

McGregor previously announced his retirement in 2016, only to come and state he had, in fact, not retired just two days later. But White says this time it is different.

"He has the money to retire, and his whiskey is KILLIN' it," White wrote.

"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 I look forward to seeing him be as successful outside of the octagon as he was in it."

In a statement to MMA Junkie, White added: "We really have never had a bad conversation since Conor has been in the UFC.

"You know how I feel about retirement: If you are saying it… you should probably do it. I have never been upset about anyone retiring. When a fighter feels he or she should retire then I agree they should."

Only last night McGregor appeared on the Jimmy Fallon Show and spoke about potential upcoming fights.

"We're in talks for July. There's a lot of politics going on, it's a mad game, the fight game," said McGregor in an interview thought to be recorded within the last week.

"To my fans, I am in shape and I am ready.

"There are many opponents, in reality I can pick who I please. I don't necessarily need to fight. I am set for life, my family is set for life.

"We are good, but I am eager to fight. We will see what happens, but I am just staying ready."

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