NEW: Conor McGregor was nixed from UFC 200 card but says he'd still like to fight
Outspoken fighter and top UFC draw says he's not retiring on Facebook
Post comes two days after Irishman's tweet spurred speculation he was calling it quits
Irish mixed martial artist Conor McGregor said Thursday in an expletive-laden Facebook post, “I AM NOT RETIRED.”
In an all-too-McGregoresque rant, he railed against the promotion demands placed on him as a world-class fighter and said he was going to focus on his training. He was recently nixed from a July 9 card for failing to participate in promotional events ahead of UFC 200 in Las Vegas.
“I’m doing what I need for me now. It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way,” McGregor said on Facebook. “I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote. I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting.”
Responding to reports that his sport’s promotional company had dropped $10 million pimping UFC 200, McGregor said he was still not convinced that his training should take a back seat to marketing the fight.
“Keep that 10 mill to promote the other bums that need it. My shows are good. I must isolate myself now. I am facing a taller, longer and heavier man. I need to prepare correctly this time,” he wrote. “I can not dance for you this time. It is time for the other monkeys to dance. I’ve danced us all the way here.”
You can read the 650-word post here, but be forewarned, it’s not for young or easily offended eyes.
The post comes amid speculation that the outspoken fighter and top UFC draw might call it quits after he tweeted earlier this week he would “retire young.”
Retweeted 165,000 times, the post stunned the mixed martial arts community, with McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, tweeting: “Well was fun while it lasted.”
Fans were divided on whether the retirement tweet was genuine, or whether the colorful brawler was drumming up interest ahead of a scheduled rematch with Nate Diaz, who handed the Dubliner the first defeat of his UFC career last month. The UFC’s featherweight champion, McGregor moved up in weight to fight Diaz, and thus still holds the title in the lighter division.
Conor McGregor keeps head held high despite Nate Diaz defeat
A statement from UFC President Dana White announcing that McGregor had been pulled from the July 9 main event only served to add intrigue to the fighter’s retirement tweet.
White said the fighter had been removed from the card after he told UFC officials he would not participate in promotional activities – including a commercial shoot and press conferences – for UFC 200.
McGregor seemed to blame promotional demands for his loss to Diaz, saying, “There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop.”
And no McGregor polemic would be complete without him taking a shot at his opponent. Of course, he happily obliged: “Nate’s little mush head looks good up on that stage these days. Stuff him in front of the camera for it.”
In doubtless hyperbolic language – this is McGregor, after all – he said he’d done 200 press conference and 2 million photo shoots, “and at the end of it all I’m left looking down the barrel of a lens, staring defeat in the face, thinking of nothing but my incorrect fight preparation. And the many distractions that led to this. Nothing else was going through my mind.”
He added, “It is time to go back and live the life that got me this life. Sitting in a car on the way to some dump in (Connecticut) or somewhere, to speak to Tim and Suzie on the nobody gives a f*** morning show did not get me this life.”
In closing, McGregor said he’s still willing to fight in UFC 200 and will offer again to fly to New York for a big press conference, but then he expects to be allowed to train “with no distractions.”
“If this is not enough or they feel I have not deserved to sit this promotion run out this one time, well then I don’t know what to say,” he wrote.
After all, he said, he’s earned an exception: “I feel the $400 million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway.”
On Wednesday, the UFC president seemed open to changing his mind about McGregor and UFC 200, but during an interview later in the day, White said the “window is pretty much closed.”
CNN’s Tim Hume contributed to this report.