MMA insiders, fighters, media and fans react to Conor McGregor's retirement tweet
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.
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.
Well was fun while it lasted— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) April 19, 2016
Multiple sources are adamant at this time that McGregor's tweet isn't a joke, troll job or hoax of any kind. Reason(s) behind it is unclear.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 19, 2016
I guess my work here is done I'm retiring too✌— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) April 19, 2016
I sought it. Just another stunt to get people to talk about his bitch ass https://t.co/U9Tww5KPh4— Cowboy Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) April 19, 2016
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.
A Conor McGregor tweet gets more attention than most UFC title fights— John Connor (@johnpicp) April 19, 2016
Conor McGregor fans reading their timeline like... pic.twitter.com/eaJSudkh4d— Boxing Memes (@Boxing_Memes) April 19, 2016
"Dana, can you give us your thoughts on the retirement tweet from Conor McGregor?" pic.twitter.com/nGSZa2523v— Jason Kelly (@ColouroftheIris) April 19, 2016
Clearly not enough people talking about Conor McGregor for his liking lately. A stunt to increase attention and ultimately make more money.— Ewan MacKenna (@EwanMacKenna) April 19, 2016
Repeat after me: Conor. McGregor. Is. Not. Retiring. He leveraging the UFC to fleece them. He's sitting on a throne petting a fluffy cat rn— Surfer Ken©™ (@SurferKenLive) April 19, 2016
Can people please stop calling 999 asking if Conor McGregor has retired.— Garda Defence (@AGSiochana) April 19, 2016
Conor McGregor is a smart, smart dude— Samuel Adams (@SamuelAdams89) April 19, 2016