Not for the first time in his career, Mixed Martial Arts star Conor McGregor has announced his retirement from the sport via Twitter, but bookmakers don’t think we’ve seen the last of him in the octagon.
The 30-year-old has not fought in the UFC, MMA’s premier division, since last October, when he was comprehensively beaten by lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov upon his return to the sport after two-year hiatus.
After several months of rumours surrounding his next potential opponent, McGregor shocked his enormous fan base on Tuesday morning by declaring himself retired from MMA in an uncharacteristically professional manner.
“I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today,” he wrote on the social media network.
“I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement.”
Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 26, 2019
I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition.
I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement.
Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!
In 2016, McGregor made a similar statement on the same platform following defeat to Nate Diaz, who ended a 15-fight winning streak for the Irishman, only for the Dubliner to retract his decision and avenge his loss by winning the re-match in the same year.
I have decided to retire young.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya's later.
It is perhaps that reason why bookies are expecting to see McGregor back in the UFC within three years, with Paddy Power making that an odds-on chance at 2/5 (-250).
Of course, McGregor has only announced his retirement from MMA, not sport in general, and the same bookmakers are not ruling out a second professional boxing bout before the end of 2022 at 15/8 (+188).
He famously coaxed future Hall of Famer Floyd Mayweather out of retirement for ‘The Money Fight’ in August, 2017, a controversial boxing mismatch which nonetheless managed to earn McGregor’s American opponent a staggering $275million.
Such is McGregor’s global fame on the back of being the first two-weight world champion in the UFC, and lasting 10 rounds with the legendary Mayweather in his professional boxing debut, there will be no shortage of commercial options away from sport.
His flamboyant character has been deemed the perfect match for America’s WWE fan base, and as such it’s even-money (+100) – effectively a 50-50 chance – that he appears at WrestleMania 35 in April.
Fans of wrestling can even bet on McGregor to win the WWE Championship by 2022 at 2/1 (+200), while Paddy Power also offer a tongue-in-cheek price of 150/1 (+15000) for the Irishman to win an Oscar should he venture into an entirely new career in acting.