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Morning Report: Dana White, Ronda Rousey comment on Conor McGregor’s ‘retirement’ tweet

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Conor McGregor announced he would be retiring from MMA in a tweet Monday night.

“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!”

If true, it would be a massive shift for MMA. McGregor has been the biggest star in MMA for years and has, in many ways, molded the sport in his own image. These days, the goal of every champion is to become a “champ champ” like McGregor pioneered and it’s easy to see the influence his brash-talking persona has had on numerous fighters attempting to talk themselves into title shots.

But the “if true” part, is a major qualifier.

McGregor sent a similar Tweet in 2016 as a reaction to the UFC pulling him from UFC 200 because he refused to do a media tour for the event. Ultimately, of course, McGregor did not retire and went on to headline UFC 202 a few months later. Similarly, McGregor revealed just last week that he was in negotiations with the UFC about returning, potentially in July and seemed dead set on getting a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov. But McGregor also was intent on getting his “rightful shares in the company,” a point the UFC has been unwilling to entertain. It’s very possible that McGregor is once again using retirement as a way of playing hardball with the UFC.

Of course, it’s also possible McGregor has just decided head trauma is unnecessary when he has other lucrative career options he can pursue. That’s what UFC President Dana White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto at least.

“He has the money to retire and his whiskey is KILLIN it. 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.”

McGregor has been successful in his business ventures outside of fighting. Last year, he released his own brand of whiskey, Proper 12, which sold out in the United States in the first two weeks and has since become the most followed spirit brand on Instagram. McGregor has also partnered with David August to release his own clothing line, August McGregor. There are also the numerous film roles that would be available to McGregor should his retirement be genuine and he wish to pursue Hollywood. Then of course, there’s the world of simulated combat to ply as well.

If McGregor is the biggest star in MMA history, Ronda Rousey is not far behind. Rousey parlayed her MMA success into numerous film roles and, eventually, into a spot in the WWE. Now, Rousey is set to headline the first-ever women’s main event at Wrestlemania next month and she is ready to toast to McGregor’s decision to pursue other endeavors.

“It’s a creative way to retire and it was a cryptic way to retire,” Rousey said on SportsCenter on Tuesday. “We will see how permanent it is. If he wants to retire forever, he’s more than earned it. Like I said, I’m ready to buy the second round.”

McGregor has been orbiting the WWE sphere for years now, with his persona and “Billionaire Strut” taken directly from their ranks. Is it possible this is all just a set up for McGregor to appear at Wrestlemania next month?

Definitely.


MUST-READ STORIES

Farewell? Conor McGregor tweets he’s ‘decided to retire’ from MMA.

Chin. Stephen Thompson on KO punch from Anthony Pettis: ‘I know I’ve been hit harder than that’.

Politics. Kevin Lee says too much ‘politics’ at lightweight helped spur move to 170.

Wrestlemania. Ronda Rousey to headline first-ever women’s main event at WrestleMania.

Fluke. Colby Covington says Ben Askren ‘should give his Hodge Trophy’ to Robbie Lawler after ‘fluke’ UFC debut.


VIDEO STEW

The MMA Hour with Kevin Lee, Stephen Thompson, Maycee Barber, and Jack Marshman.

MMW on Masvidal. The opening of this video is incredible.

This is some interesting perspective on Showtime vs. Wonderboy.

Barboza respectful of Khabib and Tony.

Free fights.


LISTEN UP

The Co-Main Event. Discussing UFC Nashville and Gaethje vs. Barboza.

Mookie & Crookie. Discussing what the new UFC/ESPN PPV model means for MMA fans.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

The Tweet.

Khabib.

Nate has thoughts.

Reaction.

This energy thing is the dumbest ish.

Picking a fight.

Lotta fighters gonna be wanting camo shorts.

Call out.

Awesome.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Makwan Amirkhani (14-3) vs. Chris Fishgold (18-2-1); UFC Stockholm, June 1.

Felice Herrig (14-8) vs. Yan Xiaonan (10-1, 1 NC); UFC 238, June 8.

Dean Trueman (10-4) vs. Soren Bak (13-1); Cage Warriors 106, June 26.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2008: Brian Stann knocked out Doug Marshall in 95 seconds to become the WEC light heavyweight champion at WEC 33.

2010: Daniel Cormier had his second MMA fight, knocking out John Devine at Strikeforce Challengers: Johnson vs. Mahe.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Well, Conor sure knows how to spice up a day, huh? I doubt he’s actually retiring (he wouldn’t do it over a Tweet, he’d hold a presser) but if this ends up being legit, good for him. Got his money and got out before things got too hairy.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

Is McGregor actually done with MMA?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Yes
    (78 votes)
  • 13%
    Yes, but he will come back eventually
    (241 votes)
  • 73%
    No, this is a negotiating tactic
    (1343 votes)
  • 9%
    No, this is a pro wrestling set up
    (175 votes)
1837 votes total Vote Now

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