Conor McGregor has emphatically dismissed suggestions his mixed martial arts career could’ve ended last year. The UFC’s first simultaneous two-weight world champion failed to enter the Octagon in 2019, which proved to be one of the most testing years of his career.
In March 2019, the Irishman stunned the sporting world by declaring he’d decided to hang up his gloves.
He tweeted: “I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas.”
‘The Notorious’, however, performed a u-turn 10 days later after apologising for his calling the wife of his bitter rival Khabib Nurmagomedov ‘a towel’.
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Despite his insistence he’d soon be back in the Octagon, many still believed Ireland’s first UFC champion’s time in the sport could’ve come to end – a summation they made due to several transgressions he made outside of the cage.
That suggestion was well and truly scorched in November, however, when it was announced McGregor will take on Donald Cerrone, whom he’ll face this weekend in the main event of UFC 246.
The prospect of retirement, and losing his career through his antics outside of the cage, was put to the Dubliner earlier this week by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
And ‘The Notorious’ was quick to insist he had no intention of walking away from the fight game and that the thought of never entering the Octagon again never crossed his mind last year.
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“No,” he told Helwani when asked if he was at all nervous of his career coming to an end. “I let people down. I’m in a position where you must take control of things and not shy away from things. I’ve never done that in my career and I never will do it.
“I’m back here now. How many months [ago] was that? Five months ago that was [his last interview with Helwani]. A solid five months work. So I’m very, very happy with it.”
When asked if he could continue fighting until he’s 40, McGregor added: “Yeah, haha. I don’t know. Probably. We’ll see.
“I’m going to have a solid couple of years. I know that. I’ll be rocking until I’m a good 35.”
UFC 246: McGregor vs Cerrone fight card
Conor McGregor vs Donald Cerrone – welterweight bout
Holly Holm vs Raquel Pennington – men’s bantamweight bout
Maurice Greene vs Aleksei Oleinik – heavyweight bout
Claudia Gadelha vs Alexa Grasso – women’s strawweight bout
Diego Ferreira vs Anthony Pettis – lightweight bout
Maycee Barber vs Roxanne Modafferi – women’s flyweight bout
Andre Fili vs Sodiq Yusuff – men’s featherweight bout
Drew Dober vs Nasrat Haqparast – lightweight bout
Grant Dawson vs Chas Skelly – men’s featherweight bout
JJ Aldrich vs Sabina Mazo – women’s flyweight bout
Askar Askarov vs Tim Elliott – men’s flyweight bout
Brian Kelleher vs Ode Osbourne – men’s bantamweight bout
Aleksa Camur vs Justin Ledet – light-heavyweight bout