Conor McGregor tweets he’ll ‘retire young’


Conor McGregor tweeted Tuesday that he’ll “retire young,” triggering a wave of speculation about what the popular Irish headliner of UFC 200 exactly means.

McGregor, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s charismatic featherweight champion who’s scheduled to fight Nate Diaz in the July 9 marquee event at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, tweeted Tuesday afternoon, “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.”


The 27-year-old McGregor (19-3 in pro mixed martial arts fights) has captured the attention and imagination of the sport’s populace with his punching power, knocking out Brazil’s longtime champion and 10-year-unbeaten Jose Aldo in 13 seconds in December, and typically thrashing opponents with an entertaining verbal assault.

But McGregor was ringside Saturday when Portuguese welterweight Joao Carvalho suffered a third-round technical knockout loss in Dublin, Ireland, to Charlie Ward and died following emergency brain surgery.

McGregor was shaken, writing on Facebook, “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. … I don’t know how to take this.”

He described Carvalho as “a hell of a fighter,” calling combat sports “a crazy game,” and said it’s “a sad time to be a fighter and a fight fan.

“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.”

McGregor has won admirers with his honesty and willingness to fight almost anyone, agreeing to a massive 25-pound jump in weight to fight Diaz in March after 155-pound (lightweight) champion Rafael Dos Anjos withdrew from their bout less than two weeks before with a foot injury.

McGregor landed some clean shots on Diaz in the first round, but the added weight appeared to fatigue him when Diaz struck him hard with punches in the second round, then submitted McGregor via rear-naked chokehold later in the round.

McGregor opted to fight Diaz again at 170 pounds at UFC 200.

Neither UFC Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta nor UFC President Dana White returned voice and text messages left them by The Times on Tuesday, and UFC spokesmen also did not immediately answer what McGregor’s tweet means for UFC 200 or the fighter’s future.

A call to his agent was also not immediately returned.