Conor McGregor shook the MMA world again yesterday by ‘retiring’ for the third time. However, nobody knows if he is being serious, with former ONE and Bellator champion Ben Askren calling it a negotiating tactic. But it is clear that several high-profile fights, including Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal, are not happy right now with the UFC.
Henry Cejudo has already retired. After McGregor’s first two ‘retirements’ it’s very hard to take him seriously. But he definitely seems done with the hassle of negotiating with the UFC. In an interview with ESPN, he explained that the UFC tried to assert their domination over him.
McGregor doesn’t like that. You can’t bully a man as rich as the Irishman. In short, this is why Dana White said, “you don’t have to fight.” To sum up, he’s not going to try and cajole him back. We’ll believe McGregor when he leaves the USADA testing pool.
First of all, McGregor wasn’t happy because the UFC didn’t agree with his plans moving forward. He wanted to fight Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title while Khabib sat on the sidelines. To be fair it would be a big money-spinner for the promotion but the UFC just wasn’t interested.
“I laid out a plan and a method that was the right move, the right methods to go with,” said McGregor. “And the UFC always want to balk at that and not make it happen or just drag it on. Whatever I say, they want to go against it to show some kind of power. They should have just done the fight — me and Justin for the interim title — and just kept the ball rolling.”
“I had my goals, my plans, the season. I had everything laid out,” added McGregor. “Obviously the world has gone bleeding bonkers at the minute. There’s f**k all happening at the minute. They want to throw me up and down weights and offer me stupid fights. I don’t really give a f**k. I’m over it.”
Interestingly, he also said that he was frustrated because they were messing with his weight cuts. McGregor wanted to go back to lightweight so they decided to assert their authority over him. All of the messing about with weight is not good for him. He said:
“I was cutting to 155, and then because I asked for 155, they wanted to show power and stomp all over me. I don’t know why they do this. But it was taken from me and then pushed back. So then I’m thinking I don’t want to be cutting if I’m fighting at 170. I have to be careful here. My body has to be correct to the weight. And then the 176 talk. I’m just over it, man.”
Furthermore, he explained that the Anderson Silva fight fell apart quickly. The UFC shut it down because they didn’t think it would make sense. To sum up, McGregor wants to make his own choices. He said:
“I’m trying to get excited. I’m trying my best. And when the Anderson one came along, I was like, yeah, s—t, that’s a mad fight. And then everyone said he’s old and over the hill. I was, like, ‘What? Fighting a former light heavyweight and the middleweight GOAT, and the actual GOAT in my eyes, that’s not a rewardable fight?’ And you know, you’re actually right. It wouldn’t be rewarded… They’d say he’s old and he’s over the hill and he’s past his prime and all.”
If he isn’t with the UFC then the UFC can’t tell him what to do. Will he step back into boxing? That’s highly possible.