Conor McGregor: ‘I am not retired’

Irish fighter believes endless promotion has affected his pre-fight preparation

Born in 1988 in Crumlin Conor McGregor has won 19 of his 22 fights since becoming a professional MMA fighter in 2008. The outspoken Irishman dominates the sport both inside the ring and outside.

 

Conor McGregor has moved to clarify his future by saying he is not retired from MMA, but rather unhappy with how he is forced to do endless rounds of promotion for his UFC fights at the expense of his fight preparations.

In a 650-word statement released on his Facebook account, McGregor says he has “become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting”.

“I am just trying to do my job and fight here,” McGregor wrote. “I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote. It is time for the other monkeys to dance.”

McGregor caused a stir on Tuesday evening when he tweeted: “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.”

Dana White, UFC’s president, then announced he had pulled McGregor from his hotly anticipated rematch with Nate Diaz in July because of a reluctance to promote the fight. Fans wondered whether McGregor’s cryptic tweet meant that was the last they’d see of him in UFC – and his removal from UFC 200 further fuelled the speculation.

But on Thursday McGregor revealed he was not retired, insisting: “I am still ready to go for UFC 200.

“There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop.

“Fifty 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.”

McGregor signed for the re-match with Diaz last month in the wake of his shock defeat on March 5th – his first loss in the UFC. Despite pulling him from the fight on March 9th , White said he did not believe McGregor was done fighting.

White insists he is not “mad” at McGregor and claims their relationship is fine, but he said every fighter on the roster is expected to promote his or her event. White described McGregor’s unwillingness to do so as “weird”.

On Thursday, McGregor said he was ready to ditch the promotional work and focus solely on his next fight.

“With the right adjustments and the right focus, I will finish what I started in that last fight,” he wrote. “I will not do this if I am back on the road handing out flyers again.

“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. I did not shut down all media requests. I simply wanted a slight adjustment. But it was denied.”

McGregor signed off by reiterating that was not finishing his stint in UFC.

“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.

“For the record also – for USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) and for the UFC and my contract stipulations – I am not retired.”

McGregor’s statement in full:

“I am just trying to do my job and fight here.

I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote.

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.

Sitting in a car on the way to some dump in Conneticut (sic) or somewhere, to speak to Tim and Suzie on the nobody gives a f**k morning show did not get me this life.

Talking to some lady that deep down doesn’t give a f**k about what I’m doing, but just wants some sound bites so she can maybe get her little tight ass a nice raise, and I’m cool with that too, I’ve been giving you all raises. But I need to focus on me now.

I’m coming for my revenge here.

I flew an entire team to Portugal and to Iceland to make my adjustments in preparation and fix my errors I made with the weight and the cardio prep.

With the right adjustments and the right focus, I will finish what I started in that last fight.

I will not do this if I am back on the road handing out flyers again.

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. I did not shut down all media requests. I simply wanted a slight adjustment.

But it was denied.

There had been 10 million dollars allocated for the promotion of this event is what they told me.

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.

I must isolate myself now.

I am facing a taller, longer and heavier man. I need to prepare correctly this time.

I can not dance for you this time.

It is time for the other monkeys to dance. I’ve danced us all the way here.

Nate’s little mush head looks good up on that stage these days. Stuff him in front of the camera for it.

He came in with no s**t to do that last one. I’d already done press conferences, interviews and shot the ads before RDA pulled out.

Maybe I’ll hit Cabo this time and skull some shots pre-fight with no obligation.

I’m doing what I need for me now.

It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way.

I feel the $400million 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.

For the record also -

For USADA and for the UFC and my contract stipulations -

I AM NOT RETIRED.”

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