UFC superstar Conor McGregor has issued a statement on Facebook in which he explains he explains his reasoning behind his shock announcement earlier in the week that he was going to retire.
Skipping right to the chase, the good news for fight fans is that McGregor states in bold letters at the end of the message that, “I AM NOT RETIRED,” and he even throws the UFC a huge lifeline by indicating that he’s still willing to fight against Nate Diaz at UFC 200 in July as was originally intended.
However, McGregor expresses his frustration with the promotional side of the business and claims that amidst it those kind of distractions he’s lost sight of what’s most important – “the art of fighting,” and focusing on how to defeat the man who ended his unbeaten winning run in the UFC, Nate Diaz.
As such he’s drawn a line in the sand and indicated that he doesn’t want to do all the pre-fight promotion that the UFC is demanding of him – though he is willing to fly to New York for a press conference that he had been scheduled to appear at.
The featherweight champion argues that he’s already generated more than enough interest in his upcoming fight with the media frenzy that surrounded his announcement earlier this week, so he feels the UFC should focus their promotional efforts on the other fighters on the card instead.
So, the ball is now firmly in the UFC’s court and it’ll be interesting to see how they respond given that yesterday Dana White was adamant that all fighters, no matter how big they are, have to undertake their promotional duties.
However, there’s a real sense that they’d be cutting off their nose in spite of their face if they don’t accept McGregor’s offer with open arms.
Read McGregor’s full statement below.
“I am just trying to do my job and fight here. 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. There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop. 50 world tours, 200 press conferences, 1 million interviews, 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.
“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 Conneticut or somewhere, to speak to Tim and Suzie on the nobody gives a fuck morning show did not get me this life. Talking to some lady that deep down doesn’t give a fuck about what I’m doing, but just wants some sound bites so she can maybe get her little tight ass a nice raise, and I’m cool with that too, I’ve been giving you all raises. But I need to focus on me now.
“I’m coming for my revenge here. I flew an entire team to Portugal and to Iceland to make my adjustments in preparation and fix my errors I made with the weight and the cardio prep. With the right adjustments and the right focus, I will finish what I started in that last fight. I will not do this if I am back on the road handing out flyers again. I will always play the game and play it better than anybody, but just for this one, where I am coming off a loss, I asked for some leeway where I can just train and focus. I did not shut down all media requests. I simply wanted a slight adjustment. But it was denied. There had been 10 million dollars allocated for the promotion of this event is what they told me. So as a gesture of good will, I went and not only saved that 10 million dollars in promotion money, I then went and tripled it for them. And all with one tweet. 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. 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. Nate’s little mush head looks good up on that stage these days. Stuff him in front of the camera for it. He came in with no shit to do that last one. I’d already done press conferences, interviews and shot the ads before RDA pulled out. Maybe I’ll hit Cabo this time and skull some shots pre-fight with no obligation. I’m doing what I need for me now. It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way. I feel the $400million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway.
“I am still ready to go for UFC 200. I will offer, like I already did, to fly to New York for the big press conference that was scheduled, and then I will go back into training. 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.
“For the record also – For USADA and for the UFC and my contract stipulations – I AM NOT RETIRED.”