On Sunday morning, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor sat down for an interview with ESPN’s Kenny Mayne. During the sitdown, McGregor admitted the entire “retirement” tweet which ultimately led to a public feud with the UFC and his removal from the landmark UFC 200 event was something that blew up more than he would have imagined.
“I’ll tell you what, (the retirement tweet) blew up,” McGregor said. “I was kind of having fun to start, half-hearted. Then all of a sudden it’s, ‘you’re off 200!’ I was like, ‘alright, well f— you too, then.'”
At that point, what McGregor refers to as a “publicized civil war” broke out with the company.
After originally being slated to headline UFC 200 in a rematch against Nate Diaz, who defeated McGregor earlier this year, McGregor was pulled for what UFC president Dana White said was a refusal to perform media obligations.
McGregor wanted to stay training rather than doing media appearances, and that was the end of his consideration for July’s event. The UFC decided to move on. McGregor realizes it may have been in his best interest to hop on the flight to Las Vegas for a press conference.
After all, McGregor is rumored to have made more than $10 million for his first fight with Diaz and the rematch would have been even bigger. But his focus was on training.
“I was going through some things, there was crazy stuff going on back home, I wanted to focus on my training,” McGregor said.
“All said and done, there were times (I thought), ‘I should have just jumped on the damn flight.’ … But sometimes you’ve got to do what’s right for you and not do what’s right for everybody else – especially if you’ve done what’s right for everyone else a million times over.”
There is no word on when McGregor will be returning to the Octagon, but he claims his relationship with the UFC is “good” and that he’s ready for another challenge.
“I’m committed to the fight game,” McGregor said. “I enjoy competition. I enjoy challenges. So, if a challenge is in front of me and appeals to me, I will go conquer it.”
You can watch more from the interview below:
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports