Conor McGregor’s unexpected retirement announcement took everyone by surprise. While fans were disheartened at the news, McGregor’s adversaries didn’t refrain from mocking his decision. But the announcement doesn’t seem to surprise UFC President Dana White.
Post the coronavirus UFC was first to resume live sporting events amidst protest and criticism from the media as well as the state governing bodies. But things were not turning up for Dana White as people started to turn their backs on him.
In one of his earlier interviews, White stated his plans for McGregor. He said that he wants McGregor to wait it out until the match between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. He wanted McGregor to face the winner of that fight. McGregor however, had different plans of his own. Conor McGregor took to Twitter to post his retirement to his fans. He wrote-
‘Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting. Thank you all for the amazing memories! What a ride it’s been! Here is a picture of myself and my mother in Las Vegas post one of my World title wins! Pick the home of your dreams Mags I love you! Whatever you desire it’s yours.’
Along with the tweet, was a lovely photograph of Conor with his mother, in which they were all smiles. The picture was taken after Conor’s World Title victory in Las Vegas.
When asked about McGregor’s retirement, Dana White was visibly angry. He said- ‘How the hell do I know? I’m not talking to him. I have no idea why this is going on. You want me to tell you why this is going on right now? That is a really stupid question.’
Conor McGregor was not the first to leave UFC recently. Henry Cejudo, Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal have also announced their exit from UFC.
“I am the only guy that is pulling off sporting events right now. I don’t know. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen in the next f*cking month with my business. I don’t know. I don’t give a f**k. If these guys want to sit out and retire right now, or anybody feels uncomfortable in any way, shape or form, with what’s going on, you don’t have to fight. It is all good. So if that’s what Conor McGregor is feeling right now, Jon Jones, Jorge Masvidal, I feel ya. It’s not like I’m going, ‘Holy s**t, this is crazy, this is nuts.’ Nothing is crazy and nuts right now, because everything is crazy and nuts right now. So on a certain level, I totally understand it and get it.”
From White’s statements, we can see that the Irishman was desperate to get to the Octagon as soon as possible, but since Dana wanted him to wait, hence the rash decision to retire. Conor McGregor was called out by interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier, reigning welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and more recently, UFC legend Anderson Silva.
“He’s been wanting to fight. He’s frustrated because he wants to fight. I’m sure that’s a piece of it. Who do you fight, and where do you fight Conor McGregor right now. ‘Fight Island’ isn’t even up and running until July. So if you look at all the problems to run a business like this, multiply it by a f**king million, and that’s where we are right now, and there’s a lot of other s**t that goes on behind the scenes right now. It’s a wacky time to be the first guy to be putting on live sports when a lot of people, who are nutty as hell, didn’t want you to.”