The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor has announced his retirement from Mixed Martial Arts.
The 30-year-old, who became the first male UFC fighter to hold titles in two different weight classes simultaneously, last fought in October 2018 and took to Twitter to state that he wouldn’t be stepping into the Octagon as a fighter again;
“Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as ‘Mixed Martial Art’ today.
“I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!”
He has ‘retired’ before, following his first fight - and loss - to Nate Diaz, in April 2016. He quickly reversed the statement.
Only a few hours before the latest declaration, McGregor had featured in a short kit for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, discussing with the eponymous host on his Irish background and heritage and, importantly, his whiskey brand, ‘Proper No. Twelve’.
Interestingly McGregor - appropriately in an Irish bar in NYC - expressed that he was in shape and ready for his first fight, with an event lined up for July.
Those plans seem to be scuppered with his proclamation of withdrawing from the world of Mixed Martial Arts.
McGregor has undeniably being the foremost breakout male star of the sport, dragging it headfirst into the mainstream, making sure his name is perpetually on the lips of even those unfamiliar with UFC and MMA.
His fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov back in October holds the record for the highest-selling pay-per-view UFC event McGregor, with 2.4million tickets sold.
Furthermore he can boast the four other highest PPV fights, accumulating a total of 7,817,000 buys to watch his bouts.
In tribute to The Notorious, The Sportsman takes a look at his three best moments inside the Octagon.
UFC 205 - Eddie Alvarez
To become the first man to hold two belts in the sports, McGregor faced Eddie Alvarez.
Controlled, disciplined, brutal; McGregor completed the checklist with this one as he didn’t just snatch the Lightweight Championship title, he bullied Alvarez out of it.
Alvarez was saved in the second round, and McGregor declared he wasn’t surprised at all about the result, proclaiming that no competitor was near his level to Joe Rogan to the post-fight spiel.
As McGregor said, his opponent shouldn’t have been anywhere near him in the Octagon. Outclassed.
“I’ll like to apologise….TO ABSOLUTELY NOBODY!”
UFC 202 - Nate Diaz
After the bloody first bout in April 2016 at UFC 196, with the American forcing McGregor to submit on the gory ground in the second round, Mystic Mac wreaked his revenge just four months later in Las Vegas though had to do it the hard way by proving he could go the distance.
The two men congratulated each other briefly in the immediate aftermath, but McGregor was declared the victor by majority decision (48-47, 47-47, 48-47) after seeing out all five rounds and making the national bloodbank once again green with envy,
Looks like we’re never going to get that decisive third fight now.
UFC 194 - Jose Aldo
McGregor vs Jose Aldo marks the moment the first global MMA superstar was launched and propelled the sport into the mainstream like no one else had done before.
At the MGM Grand in December 2015, the Irishman beat the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, the only UFC undisputed multiple-time world champion kickboxer at the time.
With an Ireland flag draped over one of the eight sides, confidence exuded virulently out of the then 27-year-old.
13 seconds in, McGregor connected with his third punch launched, dropping Aldo to the canvas, subsequently followed up double unmerciful clean hits to the face, and then wasted no time celebrating atop the ring, middle-finger gesturing and raining pretend-money.
The era of McGregor was undeniably here.