UFC, Oddsmakers Hope Conor McGregor Retirement Temporary

Posted on: June 8, 2020, 07:44h. 

Last updated on: June 8, 2020, 09:45h.

UFC and oddsmakers alike are hoping Conor McGregor’s announcement over the weekend that he’s retiring from mixed martial arts is only temporary.

Conor McGregor UFC odds MMA
Conor McGregor, seen here during his last fight in January against Donald Cerrone, says he’s done with the UFC. (Image: Steve Marcus/Getty)

On Sunday, the 31-year-old from Dublin, Ireland, told his followers on Twitter that he’s exiting MMA. The Notorious tweeted, “Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting. Thank you all for the amazing memories! What a ride it’s been!” The announcement came just hours after Amanda Nunes beat Felicia Spencer in an unanimous decision Saturday night in Las Vegas.

McGregor accompanied the tweet with a photo of himself with his mother in Las Vegas following one of his UFC victories.

“The game just does not excite me, and that’s that,” McGregor added to ESPN. “All this waiting around. There’s nothing happening. I’m going through opponent options, and there’s nothing really there at the minute. There’s nothing that’s exciting me.”

McGregor defeated Donald Cerrone by TKO in January in just 40 seconds. The Notorious was an underdog in the next fight he wanted: lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

McGregor was also willing to fight interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, who gained that title because of Khabib being unable to fight Tony Ferguson in May because of the COVID-19 pandemic that kept him in his native Russia. Gaethje stepped in and upset Ferguson.

“Whatever I say, they [UFC] want to go against it to show some kind of power. They should have just done the fight, me and Justin for the interim title, and just kept the ball rolling.” McGregor was a slight favorite against Gaethje.

Will He Be Back?

This isn’t the first time McGregor has told the world he’s done with the UFC. In March of 2019, the Irishman announced his retirement on social media. At the time, UFC President Dana White said it was nothing more than a ploy to obtain ownership in the company.

This time, however, White is delivering a different tune.

If Conor McGregor feels he wants to retire, you know my feelings about retirement, you should absolutely do it. And I love Conor. There’s a handful of people that have made this really fun for me. And he’s one of them,” White explained.

The UFC boss also voiced his own frustrations with the impact of the coronavirus.

“There’s three times a day that I throw my hands up and say, ‘I’m done. I’m done with this.’ So, I understand what everybody’s going through. Everybody wants a fight right now,” the UFC president said.

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has odds on whether McGregor will again be the UFC lightweight champ before January 2022 (11/4), as well as the welterweight champ before January 2022 (5/2).

Business Blow

The UFC certainly doesn’t want to see McGregor keep his word when it comes to retiring. The Notorious is the biggest pay-per-view draw in the league’s history, and has headlined five of the UFC’s six highest-selling PPV events.

UFC 229 between McGregor and Khabib drew a record 2.4 million buys. His boxing match with Floyd Mayweather drew 4.3 million PPV buys, the second-most in history.

Mayweather knows a thing or two about announcing his retirement. The undefeated champ has already come out of retirement two times – first to fight Juan Manuel Marquez in 2009, and again in 2017 to fight McGregor.