Conor McGregor—a loudmouthed troll; a genuinely brilliant fighter; and the UFC’s biggest draw and 145-lb. champion—is due to face Nate Diaz at 170 lbs. on July 9. The proposed fight, a rematch of a bout McGregor famously lost last month, is set to headline a card the promotion hopes will be its biggest ever. Whether or not it will actually happen is now an open question, after McGregor sent out the following cryptic tweet:
I have no idea what to make of this, and going by the way the MMA press is covering it, neither does anyone else. Here are some possibilities, none of them contradictory:
- After watching the Joao Carvalho fight that led to Carvalho’s death from ringside last week, McGregor—who has spoken seriously and eloquently about the risk of traumatic brain injury that every fighter has to face—decided that fighting simply isn’t worth the risk.
- McGregor, who has to his immense credit been very clear about wanting his fair share of the money he makes for the UFC, wants a bigger check to fight Diaz than is on offer, and is willing to walk away (or pretend to do so) in service of getting it.
- McGregor thought it would be funny and/or a good way to get some attention to randomly tweet out a retirement announcement, perhaps as part of a contrived pro wrestling-style angle.
- McGregor just doesn’t want to fight anymore after Nate Diaz, the pride of Stockton, Calif., beat his ass. 209!