Conor McGregor retires: Farewell to UFC's ultimate problem child
Despite playing a part in making MMA a household name, McGregor's legacy is filled with questionable behavior, scandalous photographs, accusations, and backstage brawls
Conor McGregor took the internet by storm on Monday after he announced his retirement from "the sport formally known as 'Mixed Martial Art'" on Twitter.
His shocked followers refused to believe that this could really be true, especially since the fighter had pulled off something similar in the past.
After a defeat to Nate Diaz in 2016, McGregor tweeted he had decided to "retire young," but returned to fight and beat the same opponent later that same year.
This time, the announcement comes five months after the Irish fighter lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in a title fight in Las Vegas.
Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 26, 2019
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!
Just hours before announcing his goodbyes to MMA, he was on 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon', saying this, "The fight game is a mad game, but like I said, to my fans, I am in shape and I am ready. There are a lot of opponents (out there)," likely hinting that there was another fight in the pipeline.
But that's the thing with McGregor, he's never the one to do anything without stirring up a storm.
Easily the problem child of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), McGregor has had a pretty colorful six years with the company.
His legacy is one filled with questionable behavior, scandalous photographs, accusations, and backstage brawls. Recently, he was arrested and charged with felony strong-armed robbery and criminal mischief after he forcibly took a fan's phone out of his hand after he attempted to take McGregor's photograph.
The incident, that happened in Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, took a violent turn -- something that's never far away when McGregor's around -- when the fighter went on to stomp on the fan's phone.
Never one to be a stickler for the rules, McGregor applied that maxim even outside the fighting arena.
He wasn't called 'Notorious' for nothing.
One of the worst controversies of his career has to be his meltdown during the Bellator 187 event in Dublin in 2017.
After assuming that his team-mate Charlie Ward had won his fight with John Redmond, McGregor "danced around that cage" not allowing the fallen and unconscious Redmond to receive medical attention. If that wasn't enough, McGregor also shoved and argued with referee Marc Goddard and later assaulted a Bellator official.
He came under a lot of fire, with the President of the Association of Boxing Commissions even threatening to have him suspended indefinitely.
That wasn't the end of his rowdy act, as last year in April, McGregor was allegedly involved in an attack on a bus carrying UFC fighters at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. According to reports, the fighter accosted the bus along with his suporters and was seen on camera throwing a metal trolley at the bus. The incident left two UFC fighters injured and unable to compete and prosecutors also said in court that McGregor punched a security guard at Barclays Center during the mess.
He was subsequently charged with assault, attempted assault and criminal mischief. He got some anger management classes and a brief time doing community service after he had a warrant out for his arrest and he turned himself in.
For a man whose pre-fight routine usually involved foul-mouthing his opponents, it really didn't come as a surprise when during a fight against boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr, he infamously said, "Dance for me, boy".
When accused of racism, McGregor went on to say, "A lot of media seem to be saying I'm against black people. That's absolutely f**king ridiculous. Do they not know I'm half-black? Yeah. I'm half-black from the belly button down."
He's also been known to keep the company of friends, who call themselves 'The Irish Mafia'.
His friendship with convicted criminals Andrew and Jonathan Murray has ruffled feathers, and morphed into quite the scandal when videos and images surfaced in 2017 showing McGregor throwing money at strippers in a nightclub.
The incident from 2013 showed McGregor grabbing a woman's bottom laughing with one hand on the woman's ass cheek. He was dating longtime flame Dee Devlin at the time. The couple has a baby named ConorJack McGregor Jr.
Then, of course, there was a strange scandal involving Terri Murray, a 26-year-old single mother who is said to have met McGregor in Liverpool. She claimed that her baby, one-year-old Clodagh, was actually the fighter's.
However, McGregor denied the claim vigorously and said that he was ready to take a DNA test and that the woman had actually slept with one of his friends and not him.
Activities outside the ring apart, McGregor was a respected figure in his sporting field, and many, including his last opponent, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, took to social media to react to his retirement announcement.
There can be only one king in the jungle.— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) March 26, 2019
Only ☝️ pic.twitter.com/BuqVNUkoR0
However, there were many who didn't take his retirement announcement seriously, and wished that he would be back in the ring soon. And so do we.
Get in make money get out.— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) March 26, 2019
Much respect to Conor.
He’ll be back though for sure! https://t.co/V1mMpPHini