Ex-UFC champion Conor McGregor announces his retirement — again

CNBC.com with Reuters
Key Points
  • McGregor's motivation to continue in the sport had been called into question over recent years, after his MMA inactivity and brief foray into boxing to fight Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
  • McGregor, who has never been far from controversy in his turbulent career, was charged in April 2018 with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief after police said he attacked a charter bus in New York carrying UFC fighters.
UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor poses after a news conference with lightweight contender Nate Diaz at UFC Gym February 24, 2016, in Torrance, California.
Getty Images

Controversial Irish fighter Conor McGregor announced his retirement from Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) on Tuesday, five months after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in a title fight in Las Vegas.

The 30-year-old retires with a MMA record of 21 wins and four defeats. He is still technically suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission until April, for his part in a brawl that broke out after his bout with Nurmagomedov last October.

"Hey guys quick announcement, I've decided to retire from the sport formally known as "Mixed Martial Art" today," McGregor said on his official Twitter account. "I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement."

McGregor's motivation to continue in the sport had been called into question over recent years, after his MMA inactivity and brief foray into boxing to fight Floyd Mayweather in 2017.

He made $30 million for the fight itself and reportedly pocketed close to $100 million in total through the various forms of revenue streams.

Since September 2018 McGregor has been busy promoting Proper No. 12, his own brand of blended whiskey, which retails for around $25 a bottle.

UFC President Dana White also confirmed the news of McGregor's retirement via text message to ESPN shortly after it was announced. "He has the money to retire and his whiskey is KILLIN it," said White. "It totally makes sense and if I was him I would retire too."

McGregor is also backed by a variety of sponsors including Beats by Dr. Dre, Burger King and Monster Energy drink. Cars are an important feature of McGregor's image as well, with over 10 luxury vehicles making up his fleet. That includes his custom Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, valued at around $500,000.

It's not the first time McGregor has made an announcement like this on Twitter. After defeat to Nate Diaz in 2016 he said he had decided to "retire young," but returned to fight and beat the same opponent later that same year.

Even if his MMA career is over, there is also speculation he could still take up another combat sport. Options include a possible return to the boxing ring or even a crack at bare-knuckle boxing.

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In an interview with NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" which aired the night before McGregor's Twitter announcement, he hinted that he was already looking at future fight options.

"There's a lot of politics going on," McGregor told Fallon in Monday's broadcast.

"The fight game is a mad game, but like I said, to my fans, I am in shape and I am ready. There are a lot of opponents (out there)."

McGregor, who has never been far from controversy in his turbulent career, was charged in April 2018 with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief after police said he attacked a charter bus in New York carrying UFC fighters.

He was also arrested in Florida earlier in March for a separate incident after he smashed a fan's phone, allegedly having objected to having his picture taken when leaving a nightclub.

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