If you have any form of social media you’ve probably heard the news Conor McGregor put out a tweet saying he’s retiring from mixed martial arts. This news would be shocking but many fans think he’ll end up fighting again. McGregor is with out a doubt the biggest star the UFC has ever had. He’s made millions of dollars, not to mention even more money with his new Irish Whiskey Proper 12. So if McGregor did want to retire no one would blame him. The thing that seems off is the timing of this. After negotiations about a potential fight with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone fell through, McGregor stayed on twitter had a back and forth with Nate Diaz, and even called out Anthony Pettis after his KO win over Stephen Thompson. So the timing of this retirement seemed a little weird.
The McGregor vs Cowboy fight almost seemed certain. That was until Joe Rogan reported on his podcast that McGregor said no because the UFC wanted to make the fight a co-main event. This rumor was confirmed to be true when a video of McGregor surfaced. McGregor said in the video he has no problem fighting in the co-main event slot, as long as the UFC gives him his shares of the company. This has been a common theme throughout McGregor’s career; even after he beat Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 he said he wanted some equity in the company. Dana White said he doesn’t blame Conor for retiring, and said negotiations were going fine with McGregor.
It’s not clear yet if McGregor’s retirement is in direct correlation to the UFC not giving him shares in the company, but to me that seems like the main reason McGregor is “retiring”. I personally think the next fight we’re going to see is McGregor vs Diaz 3. If McGregor wins the trilogy fight then I can see the UFC giving him some equity in the company. The problem is the last time McGregor won a fight was at UFC 205 against Eddie Alvarez. That was all the way back in 2016. McGregor did have a huge fight against Floyd Mayweather in 2017. He broke the PPV buy rate record for the UFC in 2018 when he took on Khabib at UFC 229. Even though McGregor lost those two fights it did nothing but help his star power grow. If the UFC were going to give any fighter a piece of the company there’s no doubt the fighter they’d give it to would be McGregor.
But you can see why the UFC is so hesitant to give him equity in the company. McGregor is a superstar but he’s been making headlines lately for the wrong reasons. From attacking a bus at UFC 223 to smashing a fans phone a couple weeks ago McGregor has been getting into a lot of trouble outside of the Octagon. If McGregor does actually stay retired it’ll be interesting to see if the UFC will eventually give him a share of the company. I think for I speak for all of McGregor’s fans when I say, we want to see him back in the octagon and it’s time to pay Nate Diaz the money he deserves and book McGregor vs Diaz 3.
~Stephen Caloggero (@steveo_calo)