UFC star Conor McGregor has stunned fans by announcing his shock retirement from fighting at the age of 31.
The Irishman posted on Twitter in the early hours of Sunday morning to announce that he will not be fighting again.
McGregor wrote: ‘Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting. Thank you all for the amazing memories! What a ride it’s been!
Conor McGregor announced his shock retirement from UFC again on Sunday morning (pictured above with his mother, Margaret
The 31-year-old was last seen in the octagon in January when he demolished Donald Cerrone
McGregor became the only man to hold two belts in different weight divisions back in 2016
‘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.’
‘The Notorious One’ had been expected to fight again later this year with UFC legend Anderson Silva, Jorge Masvidal and a rematch with arch-rival Khabib Nurmagomedov touted as likely options.
However, McGregor, who is estimated to have earned in the region of $100m (£80m) from his UFC fights and has a net worth of $110m (£86m), appears to have gone into early retirement.
This is not the first time McGregor has said he is retiring from the sport, having made the announcement in March last year only to return less than 12 months later.
McGregor made his octagon comeback in January, blasting out Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in just 40 seconds in their welterweight clash at UFC 246.
The Irishman said he was retiring in March last year only to return to UFC back in January
UFC star McGregor has earned huge pay days from fighting and is worth around $110m (£86m)
McGregor made this announcement on Twitter in March last year before making his return
Fans appeared wary of McGregor’s latest retirement post, given the Irishman’s previous hoax back in 2016 as well.
McGregor that time suggested he had retired from MMA when he tweeted he ‘decided to retire young’ a month after losing to Nate Diaz.
Sunday’s shock announcement – which was met with incredulity by fans and commentators – comes as many were hoping to see him have a super-fight with Brazilian MMA star Silva.
The former middleweight champion, who is widely regarded as one of the best UFC fighters in the history in the sport, confirmed his intentions to fight McGregor by calling on Dana White to make a catchweight fight at 80kg happen on Saturday.
His retirement comes amid rumours he could fight UFC legend Anderson Silva (right)
Dana White recently cast doubt over McGregor fighting soon due to financial situation
CONOR MCGREGOR MMA RECORD
Total fights – 26
Wins – 22
Wins by knockout – 19
Wins by submission – 1
Wins by decision – 2
Defeats – 4
Defeats by submission – 4
‘I talked about my super fight with Conor, and I’m starting to cut my weight,’ Silva said.
‘And for no excuse and for everybody talking about, ‘Oh but Anderson don’t take the weight and blah blah blah.’
‘Ok, I start training and I’m ready for that. Conor ready too. And it’s a one thing, just Dana White, I need to make this fight real. Let’s go see.’
However, UFC president White had cast doubts over McGregor fighting again anytime soon due to the financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Unless there’s an absolute miracle and the world turns around in the next three months, which I don’t see happening – people are crazy right now over this thing – I don’t know [if McGregor will fight],’ he said recently.
‘I don’t know anymore. Since this thing [coronavirus] started, I’ve been trying to get ahead of it and get ahead of it and get ahead of it. And every time we thought we got ahead of it, the next day it would change.
‘I’m not going to sit here and act like now that it’s all starting to come back, I know what’s going to happen 30 days from now, because I don’t.
McGregor pictured here with his long-time partner and wife Dee Devlin (right)
Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov beat McGregor in a high profile fight in 2018
A rematch against his rival Nurmagomedov had been touted as his next possible fight
If McGregor was to walk away from the sport for good, he will go down as a UFC icon, having become the only man to hold two belts in different weight divisions simultaneously.
He has been fighting under the UFC promotion since 2013 and has an overall MMA record of 22 wins and four defeats.
His two losses in UFC came against Nate Diaz in 2016 – though he avenged that one five months later – and lightweight champion Nurmagomedov.
McGregor’s rivalry with Nurmagomedov saw him involved in numerous controversial incidents, including hurling a five foot tall metal sack barrow at the window of a bus full of rival fighters, smashing the window.
He was charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief. McGregor pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a deal with prosecutors to avoid jail time and was required to do five days of community service.
McGregor claimed victory in his money-spinning rematch with Nate Diaz back in 2016
He reached pinnacle when he made light work of Eddie Alvarez to become two-weight titlist
The Irishman made a reported $100m from his crossover boxing fight with Floyd Mayweather
On October 6 in 2018, he and Khabib Nurmagomedov were involved in a post-match brawl for which he and the Russian were handed lengthy suspensions and large fines by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Nurmagomedov, 30, received the heftier punishment receiving a nine-month suspension and a fine of $500,000, with McGregor, 30, being banned for six months fined $50,000.
Instead of celebrating his fourth-round victory the Russian fighter immediately threw his gumshield towards McGregor’s corner and jumped the cage to launch himself feet-first at his opponent’s team.
The UFC star has become a multi-millionaire from his career in mixed martial arts
If his retirement is legitimate, he will be remembered as one of the greats of the sport
While that was happening, McGregor was involved in a confrontation after a couple of members of Nurmagomedov’s team had entered the cage.
McGregor also made an unprecedented switch over boxing for a crossover fight with Floyd Mayweather in a fight that earned him an estimated $100million (£75m) in 2017.
His pinnacle in the UFC was reached in November 2016 though when he obliterated Eddie Alvarez to become a two-weight world champion.
He also claimed notable victories over Dustin Poirier, Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo.
CONOR MCGREGOR TIMELINE FROM DEBUT TO NOW
February 17, 2007: Conor McGregor makes his MMA debut against Ciaran Campbell and wins in the first round by knockout
March 9, 2008: McGregor makes his professional debut and beats Gary Morris in the second round
June 28, 2008: The Irishman’s eagerness to build up his record sees him run before he can walk as he suffers his first defeat at the hands of Lithuanian submission expert Artemij Sitenkov
2009: In a surprise move, McGregor elects to take the entire year off from professional competition as he looks to focus on his technique
October 9, 2010: After almost two years out of the sport, McGregor makes a winning return against Connor Dillon in Chaos Fighting Championships
March 12, 2011: It takes McGregor just 16 seconds to knockout opponent Mike Wood and the referee steps in to end the non-contest
April 6, 2013: He makes UFC debut against Marcus Brimage in Sweden on preliminary card for Gegard Mousasi vs Ilir Latifi. The bout was stopped in the first round and McGregor won by knockout
August 17, 2013: McGregor backs up victory over Brimage by beating Max Holloway, only to tear his anterior cruciate ligament during the bout and he needed surgery, keeping him out of action for up to 10 months
January 18, 2015: After beating Dennis Siver, McGregor jumps out of the cage to confront Jose Aldo as the pair were to go head-to-head in Las Vegas in the Irishman’s first world title shot
July 11, 2015: Aldo pulled out through injury and so McGregor went on to beat for the interim featherweight belt
December 12, 2015: Finally he had the title shot he desired and given Aldo had not lost in years, McGregor’s victory after 13 seconds set a new record for the fastest UFC knockout in a title bout. The bout generated 1.2m pay-per-view sales placing it as second highest in UFC history at the time
March 5, 2016: Having reached the peak with the world title, McGregor was brought back down to earth with a submission defeat to Nate Diaz at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas
August 20, 2016: Reeling from the loss, the Irishman swiftly agrees a rematch with Diaz and this time wins the contest by majority decision
November 12, 2016: Holding off from a trilogy bout so soon after gaining revenge on Diaz, McGregor takes on Eddie Alvarez and wins the UFC Lightweight Championship to become the first UFC fighter to hold titles in two different weight classes at the same time
August 26, 2017: After taking time out of UFC – seeing him stripped of his featherweight title in the process due to inactivity – for the birth of his first child, McGregor’s notoriety saw him land a boxing contest with Floyd Mayweather. The Irishman lost but secured a $100m payday
October 6, 2018: Further inactivity saw him stripped of his lightweight title but he made his UFC return in Las Vegas for an eagerly-anticipated clash against Khabib Nurmagomedov which he lost. The fight descended into chaos with a post-bout brawl and both fighters were handed suspensions
January 18, 2020: McGregor makes his long-awaited return to the octagon and demolishes Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in just 40 seconds in their welterweight clash at UFC 246.
June 7, 2020: McGregor announces his shock retirement from fighting on social media