Not retired: McGregor

UFC fighter Conor McGregor changed his mind, blaming promotional pressure for his original decision to quit.
UFC fighter Conor McGregor changed his mind, blaming promotional pressure for his original decision to quit.

NEW YORK • Actually, Conor McGregor has not retired.

McGregor, who had sent out a Twitter message on Tuesday saying that he was stepping away from a lucrative mixed martial arts career, took it back on Thursday. In a statement, he explained that he had been upset with the promotional demands being made by the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

"I am just trying to do my job and fight here," he wrote. "I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote."

McGregor seemed to blame the promotional load for his recent upset loss to Nate Diaz.

"Fifty world tours, 200 press conferences, 1 million interviews, 2 million photo shoots, and at the end of it all I'm left looking down the barrel of a lens, staring defeat in the face, thinking of nothing but my incorrect fight preparation," he wrote. "And the many distractions that led to this."

He continued: "With the right adjustments and the right focus, I will finish what I started in that last fight. I will not do this if I am back on the road handing out fliers again."

McGregor said a request to lighten his promotional load had been denied.

After his retirement message, UFC president Dana White said that McGregor had been removed from the UFC 200 card in July, when he was to have had a rematch with Diaz.

McGregor said he was still willing to fight on that card.

"I am still ready to go for UFC 200," he wrote. "I will offer, like I already did, to fly to New York for the big press conference that was scheduled, and then I will go back into training. With no distractions."

McGregor has taken UFC by storm, with his fists and his mouth earning him popularity.

Before his loss to Diaz, he had beaten long-time featherweight champion Jose Aldo - then the best pound-for-pound UFC fighter - in just 13 seconds.

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2016, with the headline 'Not retired: McGregor'. Print Edition | Subscribe