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5 theories about McGregor’s sudden retirement

Conor McGregor

At this moment all we have is a simple tweet to work with. A simple 56 letter tweet saying he’s retiring young. The UFC has not officially said anything. We have not heard the words come from Conor McGregor’s mouth, but it looks like he is retiring.

Is it real?

Who knows what to think about it, especially when a fighter in a combat sports says they are retiring. We see these things happen all the time and the guy gets an itch, wants to fight again and sure enough comes out of retirement after some time off and they fight again before another retirement. Sometimes that even happens a few times. But we are also in a time where professional football players are retiring left and right well before anybody expected them to retire. Considering McGregor just witnessed a guy die from a beating he took in the cage, who is to say he really isn’t taking his “cheese” and going on to the next stage of his life, using the fame and name he built from his MMA career.

But until we hear from McGregor himself, something official from the UFC, or his manager or trainer, all we can do is speculate. And here are some theories for what is going on right now.

Theory 1: Conor McGregor is using this as a negotiating tactic

The UFC made a ton of money last year, and it was primarily off two people: Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey. With nobody quite sure if Rousey will ever return to the Octagon (does anybody else find it interesting that they said a Ronda Rousey return will only be “in the discussion” for the first fight in New York) the UFC is only left with McGregor as their cash cow. With UFC 200 coming up and having to be the grandest event in history, the UFC needs McGregor more now and ever. So maybe he is using that to get more money than he was before. Besides, announcing his retirement on a random Tuesday afternoon through Twitter doesn’t exactly seem like something a showman like McGregor would do.

Theory 2: Conor McGregor is trying to get out of another Nate Diaz fight

Conor McGregor is a brand now. He is a tremendous businessman and understands that his name and ability in the cage are part of his brand. McGregor showed all of his flaws against Nate Diaz and eventually tapped out. It was a huge hit to his brand. Maybe McGregor was upset about the loss and immediately wanted to prove himself with a win in a rematch, so he took the fight. But now that he has had time to think about it, he might want to get out of the fight. If McGregor loses to Diaz for a second time, and looks bad in the loss, his brand will lost almost all of it’s steam. It’s a risky fight and maybe he’s trying to get out of the fight without breaching the contract.

Theory 3: The UFC tried to change the fight and Conor McGregor didn’t want to hear it

When UFC 200 announced Nate Diaz would be fighting Conor McGregor in a rematch at UFC 200, just months removed from their first fight, it was a bit underwhelming. We just saw this fight. We saw Diaz choke out McGregor on only 11 days notice so what’s the point of that fight happening again? With UFC 200 needing to be twice as big as UFC 100, maybe the UFC realized that they needed something a bit more than McGregor-Diaz II, maybe a Diaz vs. Rafael dos Anjos for the lightweight title and McGregor defending his title against either Jose Aldo or Frankie Edgar. Adding to that, it was a bit unsettling that UFC would have an interim title fight for the featherweight belt when the division’s champion was fighting on the same card in a non-title fight at a different weight.

Theory 4: Conor McGregor is going on to the WWE or wants to train to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The UFC actively tried to get Brock Lesnar back from the WWE and that left a bad taste in Vince McMahon’s mouth. He’s taken fighters from the UFC before, so maybe after the UFC tried to steal a huge draw he went back and tried to steal their biggest draw with a huge contract and select appearance dates. Or maybe the idea of a billion dollar fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr is enough to have him go train for that full time. Those two are great trash talkers and every fight fans wants that. If that draws a billion dollars and those two split that, both are beyond set for life. Who needs the UFC?

Theory 5: Conor McGregor is actually retiring

One week ago Joao Cavalho died from injuries he sustained during a fight in Dublin, Ireland just days before. In the front row watching that fight was where Conor McGregor sat. And the man who did the damage was Charlie Ward, McGregor’s teammate. After the unfortunate death, McGregor expressed his deep sadness how one guy was fighting to better his life and make money, but had everything taken away from him. What sort of affect that has had on McGregor is incomprehensible. Maybe it really messed him up mentally and right now he doesn’t see the point in taking that risk anymore when he’s made a lot of money and has enough fame to move to other things, like movies or television or promoting, or anything else he as a businessman would want to get into.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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