Conor McGregor, one of UFC’s most outspoken fighters, caused an Internet frenzy Tuesday afternoon when he announced his retirement on Twitter.
“I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese,” the Reebok-sponsored athlete posted.
I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya’s later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
The announcement came as a shock to fans because the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s biggest male star was set to rematch Nate Diaz — who last month handed McGregor his first career loss — at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas.
McGregor, the 27-year-old featherweight champion, moved up two weight classes to face Diaz for the UFC 196 welterweight mixed martial arts match on March 5. Diaz won by submission.
Before his loss, McGregor gained worldwide recognition last year for his colorful antics and for setting the UFC record for quickest finish in a title fight by knocking out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds at UFC 194 in December.
Speculation is swirling whether McGregor is really retiring.
After his tweet, UFC president Dana White announced Tuesday night on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” that McGregor had been pulled from the UFC 200 main event due to his failure to appear at a mandatory press conference.
“We pulled Conor McGregor from UFC 200, and we’re working on other fights right now,” White said on the air. “Conor did not want to come to Las Vegas and film the commercial and be a part of the marketing. He’s in Iceland training.”
White added, “Is Conor retiring? Only he can answer that question. I don’t know.”
McGregor — who signed a deal with Reebok in January 2015 — often opted for Reebok’s ZPump Fusion shoe. Footwear News spoke with McGregor in June about training in the brand’s ZPump Fusion. “I’ve been doing my runs in the Las Vegas heat, and they have been very good, very comfortable,” he said.