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- Conor McGregor announced his retirement in March.
- No one seems to believe him, including UFC president Dana White, and McGregor’s last opponent, lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
- Both White and Nurmagomedov recently speculated that McGregor was negotiating to position himself for a bigger payday at his next bout.
Conor McGregor’s retirement tour has one major problem — nobody believes it.
McGregor announced his retirement from mixed martial arts in March over social media, sending the fighting world into a temporary frenzy over the shocking end to one of the hottest stars in the sport.
But after McGregor’s announcement, many close to McGregor speculated that the retirement was not legitimate, and the brash Irishman would soon find his way back into the octagon.
UFC president Dana White teased that he believed McGregor was using the threat of retirement as a negotiating tactic to get himself an ownership stake in UFC.
"I think that there’s some things that Conor wants and I think that Conor wants to get together face to face, he and I, and we probably will in the next couple of weeks and we’ll get this thing figured out," White said.
Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who soundly defeated McGregor to retain his title in October, agreed with White’s assessment.
According to the Associated Press, Nurmagomedov explained that McGregor "couldn’t reach a deal with the UFC and it’s so they feel they’ve lost him and they could lose money," while speaking in his native Russia at a Moscow university.
"I don’t think he’s finished," Nurmagomedov concluded.
While a healthy bit of speculation on the legitimacy of any fighter’s retirement is usually good practice — retirements after fights are a tradition as old as the fight-game itself — the emphatic lack of belief in McGregor is stark and notable.
McGregor has already made plenty of money through his career as a fighter, but with big-money rematches against Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz potentially still on the table, it was tough for anyone to believe his time in the octagon was over.
If retirement is announced, and nobody believes it, does it make a sound?
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