UPDATE: Conor McGregor has released a statement that he is NOT RETIRED.
Conor McGregor tweeted his retirement Tuesday morning, saying “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.”
I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya’s later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
Following the Tweet, UFC also announced his removal from UFC 200 on Twitter.
— UFC (@ufc) April 19, 2016
The turn of events comes as a shock to many MMA professionals and fans, who were hoping to see him fight against Nate Diaz in UFC 200. UFC President Dana White announced Tuesday that “the decision was made by the promotion after McGregor informed UFC officials that he would not participate in any promotional activities, including a commercial shoot and press conferences.” MMA host Ariel Helwani confirmed the announcement, saying McGregor’s Tweet is not a joke, and that the reasons are yet unclear.
Multiple sources are adamant at this time that McGregor’s tweet isn’t a joke, troll job or hoax of any kind. Reason(s) behind it is unclear.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 19, 2016
In response, Nate Diaz also tweeted that he is retiring, although it is not yet clear if this is a joke.
“I guess my work here is done I’m retiring too,” says Nate.
I guess my work here is done I’m retiring too
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) April 19, 2016
Joining the string of “retirements”, coach CM Punk tweeted, saying “Well fuck it, I have decided to retire old. Thanks for the shoes @Reebok”
Well fuck it, I have decided to retire old. Thanks for the shoes @Reebok
— Coach (@CMPunk) April 19, 2016
Conor McGregor lost Nate Diaz via submission in UFC 196, and a rematch was quickly set as the main event for UFC 200.
Since Ronda Rousey’s historic knockout loss to Holly Holm in UFC 193, McGregor became the biggest draw for casual MMA fans, who were hoping to see him avenge his loss against Nate Diaz by fighting him at welterweight, 170 pounds. The welterweight division is currently held by division champion Robbie Lawler.
Hardcore fans, however, agree that McGregor is ducking Frankie Edgar, who will be fighting Jose Aldo in UFC 200 for the interim featherweight title, a title that McGregor has refused to vacate. Conor McGregor previously defeated Jose Aldo via knockout in UFC 194.
With the headliner and biggest draw in MMA gone, it is unclear what is going to become of UFC 200.