Conor McGregor: ‘I am not retired’
Conor McGregor is not retiring, he simply wants the UFC to allow him to focus all of his time on training for his upcoming fight rather than promoting it.
On Thursday, McGregor released a lengthy statement on Facebook clearing up speculation that he has decided to call it a career. In summary, he says he wants the UFC to lighten up on forcing him to promote his fight against Nate Diaz.
“I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote,” McGregor wrote. “I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting. There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop.
“50 world tours, 200 press conferences, 1 million interviews, 2 million photo shoots, and at the end of it all I’m left looking down the barrel of a lens, staring defeat in the face, thinking of nothing but my incorrect fight preparation. And the many distractions that led to this. Nothing else was going through my mind. It is time to go back and live the life that got me this life.”
As you have likely heard, McGregor sent UFC fans into a frenzy on Tuesday when he shockingly tweeted that he is retiring from MMA. A report claims McGregor is trying to get the UFC to pay him $10 million for his rematch with Diaz, which would be a record for a single fight. In his statement on Thursday, McGregor wrote about how much money he has made for the UFC.
“There had been 10 million dollars allocated for the promotion of this event is what they told me,” he said. “So as a gesture of good will, I went and not only saved that 10 million dollars in promotion money, I then went and tripled it for them. And all with one tweet. Keep that 10 mill to promote the other bums that need it. My shows are good.”
UFC announced earlier this week that McGregor has been pulled from UFC 200 for refusing to fulfill his obligations with promoting his fight against Diaz. It’s unclear if the fight will still be held, but McGregor says he was simply asking for some “leeway” leading up it.
“I will always play the game and play it better than anybody, but just for this one, where I am coming off a loss, I asked for some leeway where I can just train and focus,” he wrote. “I did not shut down all media requests. I simply wanted a slight adjustment.
“It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way. I feel the $400 million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway. I am still ready to go for UFC 200. I will offer, like I already did, to fly to New York for the big press conference that was scheduled, and then I will go back into training. With no distractions. If this is not enough or they feel I have not deserved to sit this promotion run out this one time, well then I don’t know what to say.”
We have known for months that McGregor wants to take his training more seriously, and you can read more proof of that here. It’s obviously in everyone’s best interest for the McGregor-Diaz fight to still happen, so we wouldn’t rule out McGregor and Dana White finding some middle ground.