After a crushing third-round defeat that saw former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor choked out by his opponent, Khabib Nurmagomedov, it seems that notions of the Irishman’s retirement are hitting the rumor mill. As the Express details, former UFC middleweight champion — and a notable fighter in his own right — Michael Bisping is suggesting that the fourth loss in a row for McGregor could signal the perfect time to make his exit from combat sports.
“He could disappear right now… He’s certainly made enough money… Of course, he’s got a lot of other business endeavors going on so he doesn’t need to fight.”
While Bisping made it clear that it was certainly possible that Conor McGregor might hang up his padded gloves for good, he hedged his bets pretty firmly by also playing to the other side of the argument.
“I think he will fight, I think he will. Because that’s just who he is and he wants to: A [sic] continue earning the money… Right now, it’s probably not about the money, it’s more about the legacy and he probably wants to get back at Khabib.”
Fellow UFC contender Derrick Lewis — a heavyweight puncher who landed a fierce haymaker to end his fight on the same card that McGregor would see his bitter loss — also suggested that it may be time for Conor to exit mixed martial arts, as The Independent reports.
“He made more money than I’ll ever make in this sport. So probably sit his ass down too… I know I would… He made life-changing money. He really doesn’t have to fight. I’m fighting just so I can take care of my family. I don’t fight just because I love it just that much. I’m fighting just because it’s a job for me.”
Lewis is now famous not only for his powerful strikes but also for his hilarious post-fight promos.
Conor McGregor urged to retire after loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov https://t.co/Gf9cgskHdh
— The Independent (@Independent) October 9, 2018
It remains to be seen which side of Bisping’s predictions will ring true, particularly as tensions remain quite high between the two opposing camps and their respective fans.
In the immediate aftermath of the UFC 229 event, fans supporting both fighters engaged in street brawling outside of the venue, with one unlucky Conor McGregor fan getting a nasty knockout blow in the process, as MMA Mania relays. This is just the latest sign of rising tensions between Khabib and McGregor and their respective teams — and it seems unlikely that McGregor’s famous persona, pride-filled and almost narcissistic, would allow for a retirement without first having a proper rematch.
According to talkSPORT, such a rematch may, in fact, be in the cards. Coach John Kavanagh — in Conor’s corner — is reportedly saying that the Irishman wants another round with the man who bested him at UFC 229. Whether or not such a fight will materialize, particularly given the circumstances surrounding the fracas that closed out the last one in Las Vegas, remains to be seen.