A week after Conor McGregor took to Twitter to announce his retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA), the Irish star tweeted he might not be finished with the sport after all.
“I want to move forward, with my fans of all faiths and all backgrounds,” he tweeted. “All faiths challenge us to be our best selves. It is one world and one for all. Now see you in the Octagon.”
The message marks the latest twist in the future of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star. Ranked eighth on the competition’s pound-for-pound list at the time of his retirement, he has a 21-4-0 record, with UFC belts in two divisions.
McGregor’s initial announcement came on 25 March, with the fighter declaring on the social media platform: “Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as ‘Mixed Martial Art’ today.
“I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!”
He said: “My next fight, we’re in talks for July. We’ll see what happens. A lot of politics going on. The fight game is a mad game but as I said again, to my fans I am in shape and I am ready.”
‘Thanks for the cheese’
This isn’t the first time that the 30-year-old McGregor has flirted with quitting MMA. In 2016, he tweeted: “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.”
However, since then, he has fought at UFC 202 against Nate Diaz, at UFC 205 against Eddie Alvarez and at UFC 229 against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Infamously, McGregor also fought boxing champion Floyd Mayweather in 2017 in a light-middleweight boxing bout.
McGregor’s suggestion that his retirement may have been fleeting follows an ugly social media row with Nurmagomedov. UFC president Dana White described the exchange as “unacceptable.”
“As such, we are taking the necessary steps to reach out to both athlete camps and this situation is being addressed by all parties internally,” he added in an official UFC statement.
Since being beaten by the Russian fighter, McGregor has made little secret of his desire for a rematch.
“Don’t be scared of the rematch you little scurrying rat. You will do what you are told like you always do,” McGregor tweeted on Wednesday.
While much of the exchange has been deleted, Nurmagomedov — a practicing Muslim — accused McGregor of “insulting [an] entire religion.”
The pair’s volatile relationship came to a head following their fight in October, which Nurmagomedov won. The duo became embroiled in a post-contest brawl, with both men subsequently banned from the Octagon.
The Irishman was handed a six-month suspension and fined $50,000, while his opponent was banned for nine months and fined $500,000 by the Nevada Athletic Commission.