Coming into 2020, Conor McGregor had such wondrous plans. After being dominated by Khabib Nurmagomedov in a failed attempt to reclaim the UFC lightweight title, the former lightweight and featherweight champion was approaching 2020 as a return to high activity, intending to fight three times and challenge for the 155-pound title at the end of the year. Ad he got off to a good start, returning to the win column with a quick stoppage of Donald Cerrone in January. McGregor was unable to build momentum off of that though and, frustrated with a lack of fights, McGregor announced his retirement from MMA. And while most people believe McGregor’s retirement is no more real than his previous ones, UFC President Dana White is adamant that it’s true, at least for now.
Speaking with Barstool Sports on Monday, White addressed McGregor’s current situation, saying that until McGregor calls him to tell him otherwise, he considers “Notorious” to be out of the fight game.
“These guys keep asking me about Conor McGregor, who is retired,” White said. “You guys keep asking me about him and he’s retired. Conor plays you guys like fiddles. You guys are like puppets on a string. He’s retired. He sends one Tweet that says , ‘I accept,’ and it’s right after Khamzat calls him out and two other guys. I’m not focused on anything with anybody who’s not fighting. Conor McGregor is retired. Do we all believe he’ll stay retired? I think most of us don’t believe that he’ll remain retired.”
The validity of McGregor’s retirement has been a highly discussed topic in recent months, largely because it seems so obviously untrue. Though McGregor is nominally “retired,” White has consistently advocated for McGregor to receive the next title shot if Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats Justin Gaethje this fall, and McGregor has intermittently thrown his name out for possible fights, including stoking rumors of a boxing match with Many Pacquiao, who is repped by the same management team. Despite all this though, White has continually said he believes McGregor to be retired and there could be a simple explanation: if McGregor is retired, White doesn’t owe him anything.
“Let me put it to you this way, I owe fighters that are under contract with me three fights a year. If I don’t deliver those three fights a year, I have to pay them,” White said. “Conor McGregor is retired, whether people want to believe it or now. He is not fighting right now, so when he’s not fighting, I don’t even think about him or what he’s doing or any of that stuff on a business level. I’ll still shoot him a text personally, but on a business level, he’s out of the mix. He’s not fighting at all. So everybody keeps asking me questions about him and I’m like, ‘Manny Pacquiao? What the f*ck are you talking about?’”
As for the Pacquiao rumors, White gives them no credence, saying that if McGregor were interested in a boxing match, or any other kind of fight, McGregor would have contact him about it. Since he hasn’t, White will continue operating under the assumption McGregor is really retired and, for this year at least, he guarantees that McGregor won’t compete again.
“He is retired,” White reaffirmed. “Conor McGregor is not fighting, he is retired. I have no plan. I’m in the war room right now and we have fights laid out to November 7 and Conor McGregor is not on any of them. This year, he is retired. He doesn’t have a fight this year, and he won’t have a fight this year. Conor McGregor will not fight in 2020. I’m not saying he won’t fight in 2021, but I’m telling you we don’t have a fight planned for him in 2021, but I guarantee he will not fight in 2020. Conor McGregor is retired.”
Terrifying. Khabib Nurmagomedov sends Justin Gaethje an ominous warning ahead of October fight.
Contender series weigh in.
Top finishes from the Contender Series.
Road to Bellator 243.
Masvidal’s weight cutting struggles ahead of UFC 251.
Cowboy fight camp.
Filthy casual’s guide to Stipe-DC III.
The Co-Main Event. Recapping UFC Vegas 5 and previewing UFC Vegas 6.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
That’s a good record.
Fun fact : I believe I’m 5-0 during my career when fighting in Vegas . 2 Strikeforce , 3 UFC ☝— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) August 3, 2020
The beef goes on.
Only thing you’ll be riding is a personally signed “L” back to Siberia. I have your straps ready https://t.co/yWs30CFa3f— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) August 3, 2020
Ready to fight.
Kinda crazy to think in that 2nd fight someone was able to score 3rd round for him. I’m not letting him off the hook this time. pic.twitter.com/yxDUpwooni— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) August 4, 2020
Took a short notice fight... My bad!! https://t.co/MoZXyttwym— Tim Elliott (@TElliott125) August 3, 2020
If you drink alcohol 6 days before a fight it is known that it will not affect your performance in any way during fight day. The same goes for weed. You don’t stay high or enhanced in any way 6 days later but still may fail a threshold test and get fucked on a suspension— Brian Kelleher (@brianboom135) August 4, 2020
I haven’t made money in over a year, needless to say I’ll be ready to fight short notice at 185 or 205. Fuck it— éS (@EricSpicely) August 3, 2020
Ayaka Hamasaki (19-3) vs. Tomo Maesawa (13-10); Rizin 22, Aug. 9.
Sure, Conor is “retired,” but if he called Dana tomorrow and said I want to fight Jorge Masvidal in December, I imagine Dana would backtrack on this immediately. After all, this is the guy who said “That ship turned around and sailed back” the last time he guaranteed something wouldn’t happen and was wrong.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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