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It seems that UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor (19-3) has had enough of the fight life. The Irishman took to Twitter today to announce the following:
I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya's later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
McGregor was slated to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 200 on July 9 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a rematch of their meeting at UFC 196. In that fight on March 5, Diaz defeated the outspoken Dublin native by second round submission, handing McGregor his first loss in the UFC. “The Notorious,” seemingly bent on revenge, insisted that he get a rematch with Diaz at 170 pounds.
SEE ALSO: 8 Notorious Quotes From Conor McGregor
McGregor’s timeline on Twitter shows that he was training away, and in one recent post he mentions that he was “hungry like Day 1.” However, if this latest tweet is not some kind of hoax, then it also sheds some light on why he might have taken this decision. McGregor recently attended an MMA card in Dublin where his stablemate Charlie Ward was taking on Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho in a welterweight matchup. Ward was on top and the referee stopped the fight in the third round. About 20 minutes after the stoppage, Carvalho began to feel unwell. He was rushed to hospital, but he died two days later due to brain injuries sustained in the fight. McGregor posted the following tribute on Facebook:
“Terrible news regarding Joao Carvalho. To see a young man doing what he loves, competing for a chance at a better life, and then to have it taken away is truly heartbreaking. We are just men and women doing something we love in the hope of a better life for ourselves and our families. Nobody involved in combat sports of any kind wants to see this. It is such a rare occurrence that I don’t know how to take this. I was ringside supporting my teammate, and the fight was so back and forth, that I just can’t understand it. My condolences go out to Joao’s family and his team. Their man was a hell of a fighter and will be sorely missed by all. Combat sport is a crazy game and with the recent incident in boxing and now this in MMA, it is a sad time to be a fighter and a fight fan. It is easy for those on the outside to criticize our way of living, but for the millions of people around the world who have had their lives, their health, their fitness and their mental strength all changed for the better through combat, this is truly a bitter pill to swallow. We have lost one of us. I hope we remember Joao as a champion, who pursued his dream doing what he loved, and show him the eternal respect and admiration he deserves. Rest in peace, Joao.”
Did this tragic incident influence the Irish fighter, or are these incidents entirely unrelated? Once again, Conor McGregor has the entire MMA world talking about him. Whether it’s the last time he will be the major topic of discussion is yet to be determined.
SEE ALSO: The Conor McGregor Fight Mindset