CONOR MCGREGOR has announced he is retiring from UFC aged just 31.
The MMA legend – who leaves with a record 22 wins and four losses – posted a moving farewell message on his Twitter account on Sunday morning.
This is not the first time the Irishman has said he is hanging up his gloves, and it is not known if this will be his last farewell.
He said, “Hey guys, I’ve decided to withdraw from the fight.
“Thank you all for the incredible memories! What an adventure!
“Here’s a picture of me and my mom in Las Vegas after winning one of my world titles!
“Choose the house of your dreams Mags I love you!
“All you want is yours.”
And McGregor continued to tell ESPN that the sport no longer “excited” him, especially with all the “waiting” due to coronaviruses.
He said: “The game just doesn’t excite me and that’s it.
“All this waiting. There is nothing going on.
“I’m reviewing the opponent’s options, and there’s nothing right now. It’s nothing that excites me.
“They should have just kept spinning the ball.
“I mean, why do they push back [Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Justin Gaethje] in September?
“You know what’s going to happen in September, something else is going to happen in September, and it’s not going to happen.
“I have established a plan and a method that was the right thing to do, the right methods to follow.
“And they always want to oppose it and not make it happen or just drag it out.
“Whatever I say, they want to go against it to show some kind of power.
“They should have fought – me and Justin for the provisional title – and continued to get things done.”
Fans reacted in amazement to the news, which comes as his future in the UFC is at stake in the coronavirus pandemic.
The MMA icon has not fought since he destroyed Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in January – where he secured a brutal victory in the first round of the TKO.
It will be difficult to pay McGregor the money he asks for, as no one is allowed to attend the shows in the near future.
This means that all paid shows take place behind closed doors and that, for lack of revenue, he has no reason to fight.
Thousands of fans flocked to social media in shock at the announcement – this is the THIRD time he has retired.
In April 2016, he announced that he was stopping with a now famous tweet, saying “Thank you for the cheese”.
And he also said he was retiring after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2o18.
As a result, this last episode of his dramatic career was greeted with great disdain, many not believing that his time in the Octagon was over.
Conor McGregor with his sister Erin (left) and mother Margaret on arrival at Conor McGregor: Notorious premiereCredit: PA
One of them wrote: “If I had a dollar for every time I heard you say that lmao”.
Another said, “Hmmm, should we believe this time?”
Another fan said, “I’ve heard that before.”
As someone asked, “This is the 5th or 6th time you’ve retired now?”
Dana White on the situation with Jones, Masvidal and McGregor: “We’ve been here before, it’s happened to us, more than once as well.”
UFC chief Dana White reacted to the news at the post-fight press conference of Felicia Spencer winner Amanda Nunes.
He said: “The number of people shooting at me right now is crazy.
“You don’t need to fight. If these guys want to sit down and retire.
“If that’s what Conor McGregor, Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal are feeling right now. I feel you on a certain level. I understand that.” Floyd Mayweather has proved superior to Conor McGregor in what was his last fight Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Meanwhile, several others have blamed him for trying to divert attention from a superb UFC 250 event.
One of them said, “Yes, you decided to tweet this at the end of #UFC250. You couldn’t see the spotlight on this awesome event and these fabulous performances, couldn’t you?!
As another wrote: “Uh oh… there was a great card tonight and he has to come to get his attention.”
Recently he said he wanted a rematch with his longtime enemy and lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
He also recently accepted the challenge of facing UFC legend Anderson Silva in a super fight – making the announcement of his retirement even more confusing.
But if it’s really the end of the road for Notorious, then he goes away with a career record of 22-4.
But he has done it before and then turned around to make his comeback.
UFC President Dana White revealed last month that McGregor had asked him when he could return to the octagonCredit: PA:Press Association
Meanwhile, another fighter and his next potential opponent, Justin Gaethje, searched McGregor on Twitter, in reference to the time the Notorious hit an elderly man in a Dublin pub.
Gaethje wrote: “Fortunately, all the elderly are still hiding in their homes.
“This guy is on another bender #propers #ByeFelicia. Great fights tonight Cody No love with the performance of the night.”