MMA: UFC star Conor McGregor 'not retired' wants to fight

Conor McGregor reacts following his loss against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Conor McGregor reacts following his loss against Nate Diaz during UFC 196 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor, whose apparent retirement stunned the sport on Tuesday, said Thursday he wants to fight but is frustrated with his promotional obligations.

"I am just trying to do my job and fight here," the UFC featherweight said in a statement on his Facebook page on Thursday.

"I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote. I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting.

"There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop." And in case his lengthy post left any doubt, McGregor concluded: "For the record also - for USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency) and for the UFC and my contract stipulations - I AM NOT RETIRED."

Ireland's McGregor, one of the most high-profile stars of the combat sport, had been scheduled for July 9 rematch in Las Vegas with Nate Diaz, who demolished McGregor when they met in March.

After McGregor posted this week on Twitter that he had "decided to retire young" UFC president Dana White confirmed McGregor would no longer be feature on the card for UFC 200 in July.

"Conor didn't want to come to Las Vegas and be part of any promotional training," White told ESPN.

"He's in Iceland training. He felt leaving right now would hurt his training. But every other fighter on the card is coming." White was uncertain on whether McGregor had, in fact, retired via the tweet, which came after he attended an April 9 bout in which fighter Joao Carvalho suffered fatal injuries.

McGregor said he had asked promoters for a "slight adjustment" in promotional responsibilities so he could focus on preparing for the grudge match against Diaz but the request was denied.

He said he was willing to travel to New York for a press conference, but wanted to then resume training.

"It's time for me to be selfish with my training again," he said. "It's the only way."