The UFC is facing an interesting time, as former two-division champion Conor McGregor is the latest fighter to claim he is ready to step away from the promotion.
McGregor posted a message on Twitter after UFC 250 this past weekend, announcing his retirement from the sport. He discussed the decision more in-depth with ESPN, claiming to be bored and wanting to stay active.
“The game just does not excite me, and that’s that,” McGregor said. “All this waiting around. There’s nothing happening. I’m going through opponent options, and there’s nothing really there at the minute. There’s nothing that’s exciting me.”
McGregor noted that he feels the UFC “dropped the ball” by not moving quickly with Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje to unify the UFC lightweight titles. “Notorious” lost to Nurmagomedov when he challenged the unbeaten fighter once before.
“You know what’s going to happen in September, something else is going to happen in September, and that’s not going to happen,” he said. “I laid out a plan and a method that was the right move, the right methods to go with. And they always want to balk at that and not make it happen or just drag it on. Whatever I say, they want to go against it to show some kind of power. They should have just done the fight – me and Justin for the interim title – and just kept the ball rolling.”
Gaethje won the interim belt from Tony Ferguson, who was also previously scheduled to face Nurmagomedov earlier this year.