In the same amount of time it took Conor McGregor to knock out Jose Aldo to become the official UFC Featherweight Champion, it appears he has tweeted out his retirement.
I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya's later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
Of course, Conor has always been a showman first, fighter second, so my first thoughts were that this was some kind of ploy. Maybe he was doing it to make more money? Maybe he we doing it to generate more buzz? Maybe he was bored and simply wanted to troll the internet? With Conor, you don’t always find an obvious reasons for his actions.
But then there’s the other side of the coin. If anyone is crazy enough to retire out of the blue with a big fight (and payday) looming on the horizon at UFC 200, it’s Conor McGregor.
Ariel Helwani seems to think there might be truth to the tweet:
Multiple sources are adamant at this time that McGregor's tweet isn't a joke, troll job or hoax of any kind. Reason(s) behind it is unclear.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 19, 2016
Things only heated up when one of Conor’s coaches tweeted a vague statement of his own:
Well was fun while it lasted
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) April 19, 2016
Which then prompted the sub tweet of the year to continue when Nate Diaz jumped into the fray:
I guess my work here is done I'm retiring too✌🏼️👊🏼
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) April 19, 2016
Theories also started popping up that maybe Conor McGregor was impacted by the recent death of Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho, who passed away after a fight against Charlie Ward (who Conor was cornering for the fight). As we’ve seen with the NFL lately, sometimes the sobering reality of the price you might pay for physical sports can make you reassess your career path.
Other theories posited that maybe he was eyeing up a WWE career, where his mouth would certainly fit in nicely.
Whatever the case may be, the fact the internet is currently losing its mind over one tweet from McGregor shows the impact he has on the sport, and pop culture itself. Not many fighters announcing their retirement out of the blue would have had as wide an impact of McGregor.
There has been no word yet from the UFC on McGregor, so either they are taking this incredibly in stride (not a Dana specialty), or are scrambling, crying, drinking, and screaming into phones as we speak.
We shall see what the end game of McGregor is, but if it truly is the end, he has left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten (red panty night enthusiasts will attest to this). He also left a game plan for future fighters on how to make a lot of money, as well.