After a dramatic few days which saw all kinds of speculation about whether Conor McGregor had retired from MMA, the man himself took to Facebook in the last hour to set the record straight. And cutting to the change of a long post, he final three words are the most important: “I AM NOT RETIRED.”
In fairness, much of the rumour mill was started by McGregor himself, when he tweeted the by now infamous few words: “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for all the cheese. Catch ya’s later.” Most people, of course, took this to mean that the Notorious was retiring, and couldn’t understand why someone so young, and at the top of his powers, would want to do so. After a few days of media frenzy, however, Conor issued a statement this afternoon.
And his statement on Facebook reveals his true feelings. It starts off with the words “There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop. 50 world tours, 200 press conferences, 1 million interviews, 2 million photo shoots, and at the end of it all I’m left looking down the barrel of a lens, staring defeat in the face, thinking of nothing but my incorrect fight preparation. And the many distractions that led to this.”
Conor describes how the business of MMA, and the constant need to promote it, hype it and do appearances, has distracted him from what he is good at – fighting. And his post reveals that he won’t be distracted by that any more, and is going to focus all his energies on the sport itself from now on. “I’m doing what I need for me now.
It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way. I feel the $400million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway. I am still ready to go for UFC 200.”
So welcome back Conor. It’s only been a couple of days, but we’ve really missed you!