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Conor McGregor to retiring teammate Cathal Pendred: 'You are a legend'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After rising in the game together, UFC interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor bid farewell to friend and SBG Ireland teammate Cathal Pendred with a lengthy Facebook post on Wednesday, heaping praise upon the retiring 28-year-old for his accomplishments in mixed martial arts and thanking him for countless hours of help in the practice room.

Cathal Pendred = LEGEND!A man who came from zero combat sports background and entered into the game at a time when...

Posted by Conor McGregor on Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pendred announced his retirement at the age of 28 on Wednesday, citing a declining passion for the sport that brought him to global prominence.

"I am a passionate person and I always give 100% to what I do," Pendred wrote. "I have been passionate about MMA for a long time and my focus on the sport has been my driving force for the last 9 years.

"I now find that my passion is no longer what it was and I feel that it is time for me to move on. I have other interests that I want to pursue. The time is right to close one door and open another. My love of MMA remains with me. I intend to maintain my involvement with the sport, but I no longer wish to compete."

Pendred (17-4-1) exits the sport carrying a 4-2 record inside the UFC Octagon. He debuted for the UFC in 2014 on the 19th season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he reached the season's middleweight semifinals before falling short to eventual bracket winner Eddie Gordon.

The Irishman rebounded to capture an electric come from behind victory over Mike King in his UFC debut, which also doubled as the first show held in Dublin in five years. Pendred racked up three more wins in succession, before losing back-to-back fights, including a brutal TKO loss to Tom Breese last month.

With his announcement, Pendred calls it a career just weeks before his teammate, McGregor, is scheduled to challenge Jose Aldo in a blockbuster featherweight unification match at UFC 194. That card takes place Dec. 12 in Las Vegas, NV, and is co-headlined by a middleweight championship fight between Chris Weidman and former Strikeforce titleholder Luke Rockhold.

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