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UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor

Source: Steve Marcus / Getty

Late on Monday night, UFC star Conor McGregor announced his retirement from mixed martial arts. The announcement is the second time in the last three years that he has retired from the sport.

The timing of the announcement is a bit awkward. McGregor was just on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon and said that he was in talks with the UFC about a potential return to the Octagon in July.

“We’re in talks for July,” said McGregor on “The Tonight Show.” “We’ll see what happens, a lot of politics going on. The fight game is a mad game. But like I said, to my fans, I am in shape and I am ready.

“I have done my piece for the company. I don’t necessarily need to fight. I am set for life. My family is set for life. We are good, but I am eager to fight. So, we’ll see what happens. I’m staying ready.”

McGregor’s first retirement came in April of 2016 after a loss to Nate Diaz. This time around, McGregor is coming off of a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight championship. He also lost his boxing match to Floyd Mayweather.

Whether he’s won or lost, whether he’s fighting or not, McGregor has always been one of the most entertaining and divisive figures in the sport. He’s promoted his fight’s well with his over the top personality. His flashy style gave him crossover appeal outside of the ring as he has endorsements with Beats by Dr. Dre, Burger King and Monster Energy drink. He also has his own line of whiskey that is reportedly doing well.

UFC president Dana White said that it makes sense that McGregor is retiring now via text message to ESPN. “He has the money to retire, and his [Proper 12] 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.”

McGregor has had some legal issues lately. In 2018, he was charged with three counts of assault after attacking a charter bus. Earlier this month, he was arrested for smashing a fan’s phone.

McGregor is retiring with a 21-4 record with championships at the featherweight and lightweight.