Former two-time UFC Champion Conor McGregor announced early Tuesday morning that he was retiring from the world of mixed martial arts. The Irish fighter had only competed once since 2016, but remained the UFC's top draw after his UFC 229 main event bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC Lightweight Championship broke the record for most pay-per-view buys for an MMA event at 2.4 million. While McGregor has teased retirement in the past to help with negotiations, UFC president Dana White seemed to confirm it was real this time when he released a statement to ESPN. While promoting the WrestleMania 35 main event on SportsCenter AM this week, former UFC Champion Ronda Rousey gave her thoughts on McGregor hanging up his gloves.
"Well, it's a creative way to retire, and it was a cryptic way to retire," Rousey said, in regards to McGregor making his announcement via Twitter. "So, we'll see how permanent it is. If he wants to retire forever, he's more than earned it. And like I said (in her initial response on Twitter), I'm ready to buy that second round."
McGregor's announcement read, ""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!"
In his response to the news, White said it made financial sense for McGregor to step away from the fighting game.
"He has the money to retire and his whiskey (Proper 12) is KILLIN it. It totally makes sense," White wrote. "It 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 the octagon as he was in it."
On the same day as McGregor's announcement, the New York Times reported that McGregor was being investigated for sexual assault accusations that allegedly took place at a hotel in Dublin back in December. McGregor was initially arrested in January and subsequently released.
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