LAS VEGAS (AP) – UFC superstar Conor McGregor says (in all caps) that he’s not retired from fighting.
The mixed martial arts fighter posted on Facebook Thursday that he’d like to focus on training more and less on grueling promotional demands that come with being a pay-per-view star.
The 27-year-old fighter known for his over the top personality says “I can not dance for you this time.”
“I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting,” McGregor said in the nearly 650-word statement also posted to Twitter, instantly drawing thousands of shares, retweets and comments from fans.
“For USADA and for the UFC and my contract stipulations — I AM NOT RETIRED,” McGregor said. McGregor, at times profane and critical of interviews he saw as pointless, said the “many distractions” led to errors in preparing for his last fight, specifically with cardio and weight.
McGregor has been training for a rematch against Nate Diaz at UFC 200 in July. He lost to Diaz in March, ending a 15-fight winning streak in which he surprised many fans by fighting 25 pounds above his usual weight of 145 pounds, where he holds a title belt. The rematch was set to be fought at 170 pounds.
McGregor stirred fans this week with a tweet saying he had decided to retire young. That prompted UFC President Dana White to respond by saying McGregor had been pulled from UFC 200 because of the dispute over promotional appearances. White said McGregor was refusing to travel to Las Vegas for promotions ahead of another UFC card this weekend.
McGregor says he’s still ready to fight at UFC 200.
“I’m doing what I need for me now. It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way,” he said. “I feel the $400 million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway.”