Dana White says Conor McGregor is not retired from the UFC
We could say that thousands of fans were gutted when Conor McGregor "retired" from the UFC - but we'd be lying.
Upon hearing the news, many of McGregor's dedicatees simply shrugged their shoulders, and said: "He'll be back."
And they may have been proven right - if President of the UFC Dana White's recent comments are anything to go by.
Today, the 49-year-old cast doubt on the MMA fighter's retreat, claiming that Conor - who is reportedly under investigation for sexual assault in Ireland - is simply was trying to negotiate a better deal.
"No," White told 8 Las Vegas, when asked if he believed that McGregor had genuinely called an end to his fighting career. "I think that there’s some things that Conor wants and I think that Conor wants to get together face to face, he and I, and we probably will in the next couple of weeks and we’ll get this thing figured out."
He added: "Listen, who gets respected more than Conor McGregor does? Come on. The guy’s never been disrespected, definitely not by me. And he’s got a lot of money too. But he’s stuck on this thing where he wants a piece of the ownership and that’s just — if you look at basketball, Michael Jordan didn’t own a piece of the league, and the list goes on and on.
"Is Conor very valuable to the sport and to the brand, the UFC? Of course he is. That’s a tough one, but I think there are other ways that we can make him happy."
The American businessman's comments come after he claimed that "if he [Conor] wants to retire that’s his decision" and admitted that the fighter had requested a piece of the UFC over text message.
"He wrote ‘I feel like I should own a piece of the company.'" White revealed to TMZ Sports. "And I said ‘Conor, you know that’s never going to happen.’ But this was a couple of weeks ago. But Conor has never come out, sat down with me and said ‘I want a piece of the company and here’s why.’ We’ve never had that conversation. We did it in text two weeks ago."
He continued: "Like I’ve said, I’ve never had a bad conversation with Conor McGregor in the entire time he’s been with this company. You know I love the guy. He’s got plenty of money. If he wants to retire that’s his decision, and I always say when you start talking about retirement, it’s probably something you should do if that’s what you’re thinking."
Conor claimed on Twitter that it was all over for him on March 25, writing: "Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as 'Mixed Martial Art' today. I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in the competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!"
However, it wasn't the first time the 30-year-old former featherweight and lightweight champion had teased his retirement. Back in 2016, he claimed: "I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya's later."
In addition, he has a lot of fights to get to this year. Speaking to Jimmy Fallon recently, he spoke about a potential fight in the summer, not to mention many people were expecting a McGregor and Nate Diaz rematch, after their previous two fights brought them to an even score.
So, is it time for us to say goodbye to Conor? Based on the evidence, we think not!