Conor McGregor Retires From UFC Again, Odds on Where Next Fight Will Be

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Conor McGregor What comes next

Not more than a few moments after Amanda Nunes successfully defended her UFC featherweight title at UFC 250, Conor McGregor took to Twitter to announce that he was retiring from the sport. It wasn’t even a dramatic announcement, but more along the lines of a whimper than a bang.

But, that all changed the next day when McGregor spoke at length with ESPN to further explain why he’s retiring once again. Ultimately, Conor is walking away from the octagon because it doesn’t excite him anymore and he was getting very frustrated over potential opponents:

“The game just does not excite me, and that’s that. All this waiting around. There’s nothing happening. I’m going through opponent options, and there’s nothing really there at the minute. There’s nothing that’s exciting me.”

McGregor campaigned for a fight with Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title in July, but that was scrapped as the UFC decided to go with Gaethje versus Khabib Nurmagomedov. This frustrated McGregor as he believed the UFC had a lot of momentum going in the division and he should’ve been next.

McGregor also expressed the UFC’s lack of a plan for his immediate future. Conor presented a few ideas to the UFC including a fight with Anderson Silva. Unfortunately, the UFC nixed all of those ideas. Furthermore, the UFC couldn’t decide which weight class Conor should fight at next.

This greatly upset McGregor as he felt that the promotion was toying with his fight career like a yo-yo. McGregor walks around at 170 pounds and would have to cut down to 155 pounds to compete in the lightweight division.

UFC President Dana White didn’t help the matter any. In the UFC 250 post-fight press conference, White made the following comments about McGregor’s retirement announcement:

“Nobody is pressuring anybody to fight. And if Conor McGregor feels he wants to retire, you know my feelings about retirement — you should absolutely do it. And I love Conor. … There’s a handful of people that have made this really fun for me. And he’s one of them.”

So, now here we are, McGregor has retired for the third time in the last four years and we’re left wondering if “Notorious” will come back. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these McGregor retirement prop bets courtesy of BetOnline and make some winning predictions.

Will McGregor Announce That He’s Un-Retired on Twitter in 2020?

  • Yes (+170)
  • No (-250)

The betting odds heavily favor “No” for this McGregor prop bet, but I happen to believe that the “Yes” option is the one to go with.

McGregor absolutely loves Twitter. He whips up his followers and critics into a frenzy every time he posts something controversial or brash. He’s also announced three retirements on Twitter over the last four years.

I can really see McGregor giving a vague announcement on Twitter later this year or in early 2021 about his return to fighting. This would only be a teaser as he would use the buzz created via Twitter to hold a press conference or schedule a big interview with Ariel Helwani to announce his grand return.

McGregor Announcing Un-Retirement in 2020 –Yes (+170)

McGregor’s Next Fight in 2020-2021:

  • UFC (-105)
  • BKFC (+175)
  • Boxing (+325)

I just don’t see how anyone could think that McGregor would fight in another combat sport like the BKFC. McGregor is still under contract with the UFC and there’s no way Dana White will allow their top star to compete in a bare knuckle fight.

I do see a small chance with the UFC allowing McGregor to compete in a boxing match again. He has two big options in Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Both options would make everyone involved a lot of money. And, you can bet that the UFC will get their slice of that juicy pie.

With that said, the smart play is on McGregor returning to the UFC by the end of 2020 or in early 2021. And, I really like the value offered at UFC Betting sites with the option at -105 odds. That’s a nice payout considering that he’s still under contract with the UFC.

McGregor’s Next Fight in 2020-2021 – UFC (-105)

Will McGregor Fight Floyd Mayweather in 2020-2021?

  • Yes (+300)
  • No (-500)

I really think there’s an outside chance that we see Conor McGregor back in a boxing ring against Floyd Mayweather Jr. For starters, Mayweather has said he wanted to rematch McGregor again. And, after McGregor announced his retirement, Floyd Jr. made the following comments about a rematch:

“If I’m not mistaken, didn’t you tell Mike Tyson you could beat me if we fought a second time?” Mayweather Jr. Now you’re quitting! I thought you wanted to beat the best? Well, if you decide to come back, I will be waiting to punish you again.”

Mayweather knows that a rematch against McGregor will make them both a lot of money. Now, it probably won’t be as successful as their first fight back in 2017, but even at 75% of the first fight’s gate and PPV buys would make this rematch a huge success.

Money is the driving force for Mayweather and McGregor. It’s also something that the UFC could still get a piece of as they would have to approve of this boxing bout since Conor is still under contract.

With that said, I don’t see why all parties involved wouldn’t agree to this. For this betting option, the safe play is on “No”, but the “Yes” option is worthy of a small flier.

McGregor Fights Floyd Mayweather in 2020-2021? – No (-500)

5 Reasons Why Conor McGregor Isn’t Really Retired

Former UFC fighter, and current UFC analyst, Michael Bisping summed it up best when he made the following comments about McGregor’s retirement via his Believe You, Me podcast:

 “But, yes, he’s done it before, as you say, he’s the boy who cried wolf. It would appear from the outside that I don’t think anyone is convinced that he is actually retired. I mean, he’s a young man, he’s in his prime, he’s the biggest star this sport has ever seen. He’s bigger than all the other stars put together, to be honest. He’s the cash cow, simple as that. There’s money to be made and I don’t think he’s going to leave that.”

In my opinion, Bisping touched on five reasons why McGregor isn’t really retired. Let’s take a further look at these reasons, which also reinforce the predictions for the McGregor prop bets above:

He’s Retired Before

In March 2016, Conor stepped away from the sport during the buildup to a rematch with Nate Diaz. Five months later, McGregor was back in the octagon and ended up defeating Diaz in their second contest against each other.

In April of last year, McGregor retired for the second time after negotiations with the UFC became extremely difficult. However, McGregor returned to the octagon nine months later to defeat Donald Cerrone in January 2020.

Now, McGregor is retiring for the third time in the last four years and if the trend holds true, he should be back inside the octagon by the beginning of 2021 at the latest.

Nobody Truly Believes It

Following up on the previous point, nobody truly believes that McGregor is going to really retire. UFC grappler Ben Askren flat out stated that Conor isn’t retiring, but using this announcement as a negotiation tactic.

Justin Gaethje, a fighter that McGregor has had a war of words against over the last year, took things even further by saying the following on Twitter:

“Thankfully all of the elderly are still hiding in their homes. This guy is on another bender.”

Gaethje was referring to McGregor’s assault of an elderly man last year in a pub.

As of now, none of McGregor’s contemporaries nor any UFC pundits truly believe that Conor is retiring.

McGregor Is Still in His Prime

At 31 years old, Conor McGregor is still in his prime. He definitely has at least three or four more years as an elite fighter at the top of the sport.

Other stars have walked away in their primes from competing in professional sports, one being the great Barry Sanders. Nevertheless, we’re talking about an MMA fighter who has transcended the sport to become a global attraction.

With a few more years left, a desire to be the GOAT, and a desire to make tons of money, I just don’t see how Conor McGregor can leave the sport of MMA behind at this point in his life.

He’s the Most Popular UFC Star of All-time

There’s no debating this, Conor McGregor is the most popular UFC star of all time. He rose from an unknown fighter to become the most must see attraction the sport.

His popularity can be seen in the category of PPV buys as Conor holds the top four PPV records for MMA:

  • UFC 229: Khabib vs McGregor sold 2.4 million PPV buys
  • UFC 202: Diaz vs McGregor 2 sold 1.6 million PPV buys
  • UFC 196: Diaz vs McGregor sold 1.32 million PPV buys
  • UFC 205: Alvarez vs McGregor sold 1.3 million PPV buys

If you look at these fights closely, you will see how McGregor’s path to greatness created these moments where fans had to tune in and buy the PPV to see what happened next.

The two fights against Nate Diaz were epic and warrant a trilogy fight. Unfortunately, both combatants have shied away from this bout in recent interviews.

The contest against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 was a historical moment as McGregor defeated Alvarez for the lightweight title and became the first “champ-champ,” to simultaneously hold two different championship belts in the history of the UFC.

Lastly, the highest drawing UFC event was UFC 229 where the bitter rivalry between Nurmagomedov and McGregor came to a head. It was even more memorable with the post-fight brawl. A rematch between the two could flirt with 2.5 million PPV buys and once again see McGregor break records.

These facts further cemented what UFC star Daniel Cormier said in an interview with Ariel Helwani when he declared that the UFC needs to make McGregor happy and do what they can to make it work for Conor:

“Everything is just bigger when he competes, and the whole aspect of that is gone when he fights in front of no fans. So I get why there’s a little hesitancy there, but it’s not worth risking losing him for the long term because you can’t make him happy right now. They’ve gotta make it happen. Again, it’s not worth the penalty if he’s gonna walk away. It’s not worth it, you know, you’ve gotta make it work for him.”

In addition to PPV buys, McGregor also draws the most money for his gates.

The following is a list of the Top 6 live gates in UFC history:

  • UFC 205: Alvarez vs McGregor (2016) – $17,700,000
  • UFC 229: Khabib vs McGregor (2018) – $17,2000,000
  • UFC 129: St-Pierre vs Shields (2011) – $12,075,000
  • UFC 246: Cerrone vs McGregor (2020) – $11,100,000
  • UFC 200: Tate vs Nunes (2016) – $10,700,000
  • UFC 194: Aldo vs McGregor (2015) – $10,500,000

As you can see, McGregor is a massive draw. Furthermore, McGregor also has the two largest MMA crowds in Las Vegas history with over 20,000 fans for his fight against Khabib and over 19,000 fans for his fight against Cerrone.

If they were to put McGregor in a large venue that were to hold 50,000 or more fans, he would easily sell it out.

McGregor Creates History

The last reason why I believe McGregor isn’t going to officially retire is because he’s a rare individual who creates history. There aren’t many athletes who have accomplished this feat, let alone to the magnitude of McGregor.

Think about it for a moment, in 2016, he set the three highest UFC PPV records of all-time with his two Diaz fights and the Alvarez fight. Additionally, after defeating Alvarez, he became the first UFC fighter to hold titles in two different weight classes at the same time.

Then he leaves MMA and heads into boxing in 2017 to take on Floyd Mayweather Jr. It’s one of the most successful sports PPVs of all-time ranking second in PPV buys with 4.3 million PPVs, which was behind Pacquiao vs Mayweather which did 4.6 million. The live gate was also second in Nevada history behind the Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight.

Then he comes back to the UFC in 2018 and takes on the lightweight champ who is considered one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.

That UFC 229 fight set the all-time UFC PPV record with 2.4 million PPV buys, set an attendance record at T-Mobile Arena with over 20,000 fans, and had one of the highest UFC gates of all-time at $17.7 million dollars.

I do not see McGregor walking away from the competition. Whether it’s against Mayweather in a boxing ring or Nurmagomedov in the octagon, McGregor has unfinished business. And, this business will definitely produce massive numbers and create history once again.

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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