A 13-word tweet from Conor McGregor on Tuesday afternoon has exploded into frenzied speculation, as the UFC Featherweight Champion – and currently scheduled UFC 200 headliner – said he was retiring without any further follow up.
I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya’s later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
Retweeted 24,000 times in a half hour, with still no follow up, it’s entirely unclear what to make of the comment. Is he legitimately retiring, scrapping the UFC 200 matchup with Nate Diaz and walking away? Is he trolling everyone? Is it a negotiating ploy? For now, the MMA world awaits further comment from the “Notorious” one.
Penick’s Analysis: Everything’s in play here. As noted by @GrabakaHitman on Twitter, “Trolling or not, McGregor was ringside for the Joao Carvalho fight and I can’t imagine the effect that has on a fighter’s psyche.” Given how much that could have affected him, and how much money he’s already made, is it insane to think he could be serious? It might not be. Now, it’s just as easy to believe it’s a play to renegotiate whatever deal he has in place with the UFC, though he’s got slightly less leverage than he did just a few months ago due to his loss to Diaz. Still, they want him for UFC 200, and he’s supposed to be a major part of that card, so they could give in if pressured to do so in order to keep him on. If he’s simply joking and not at all serious then it’s a completely nonsensical move. For now, until we hear more, the speculation will simply continue.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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This short, tweeted statement, with it’s obvious ambiguity, is completely calculated. What the reason is however, is unknown. Even if it’s a real retirement announcement, he has to know exactly what kind of response this would get, constructed as it was.
Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man