Before Amanda Nunes could even hit the showers after a dominant title defense, all web UFC chatter was quickly diverted to a name not even featured on Saturday’s UFC 250 card.
Knowing that the collective eyes of the UFC fanbase were all on Twitter to discuss the evening’s events, Conor McGregor took the opportunity to announce his retirement.
Fans have seen this stunt before and UFC president Dana White, who stated that he had not spoken with McGregor prior to the tweet, didn’t appear all that fazed when asked about the star’s apparent decision.
“That’s Conor,” White said post-fight. “You know how Conor works. That’s how he does things.”
Per the UFC odds at OddsShark, McGregor was most likely to face Kamaru Usman in his next UFC bout, and while the Irishman has eagerly sought a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov, that being his next fight was offered at +600 behind Jorge Masvidal (+300), Anderson Silva (+400), and even with Tony Ferguson (+600).
Some of the UFC’s biggest names have pulled similar moves, either to pursue other ventures or to bluff their way to large fight purses.
Despite having a few losses to his name, Conor remains one of the biggest draws to the UFC, and sportsbooks have all benefitted greatly when his name appears on the evening’s fight card.
Conor’s swagger and infamous pre and post-fight antics have made him a prime target for prop odds markets, which have featured everything from his walkout music, the “billionaire strut”, who will he call out, and the always entertaining “will he throw anything?”
Naturally, oddsmakers jumped on the retirement announcement and offered up a few props as to if and when the Irish sensation would return to the octagon.
McGregor only needed 40 seconds to end his last fight in the octagon, where he unleashed a pair of rare shoulder strikes that left opponent Donald Cerrone dazed and ultimately unable to continue.
Conor stated that he had not taken his training seriously leading up to the Khabib fight and that his increased alcohol intake and party-boy lifestyle caught up with him.
He credited his focused, disciplined approach in his post-fight press conference when asked about his dazzling display inside the cage, and it became evident that he felt he would hold his own against the same Khabib who so easily dominated him in their first meeting.
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