The Irish fighter shocked the sports world on Tuesday when he tweeted that he was going to retire young.
He was later pulled out of UFC 200 with Dana White claiming that McGregor wasn’t prepared to travel to Las Vegas to take care of promotional work.
And McGregor has now confirmed that stance with a long Facebook post, but insisted he won’t be getting involved in any press after the Las Vegas trip.
You can read the whole of McGregor’s statement here via his Facebook page.
But we’ve broken it down into different parts so you can really digest what he’s said and what it all means.
Firstly, he goes in strong on how much work he’s done for the company over recent mega fights with Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo and Nate Diaz, saying: “I am just trying to do my job and fight here. I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote.
“I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting.
“There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop. 50 world tours, 200 press conferences, 1 million interviews, 2 million photo shoots, and at the end of it all I’m left looking down the barrel of a lens, staring defeat in the face, thinking of nothing but my incorrect fight preparation. And the many distractions that led to this.
“Nothing else was going through my mind.”
Conor has been the face of UFC since his win over Dennis Siver in January 2015 set up a featherweight world title fight with Aldo.
But the Brazilian pulled out of that through injury, leading to Mendes stepping in for an interim title bout with McGregor won.
He’s since beaten Aldo at UFC 194 and lost to Diaz at UFC 196 for two of the biggest nights in the sport’s history.
But the Irishman appears frustrated at the apparent reliance of White and the company on using him to sell fights:
McGregor’s statement continued: “It is time to go back and live the life that got me this life.
“Sitting in a car on the way to some dump in Conneticut or somewhere, to speak to Tim and Suzie on the nobody gives a fuck morning show did not get me this life.
“Talking to some lady that deep down doesn’t give a fuck about what I’m doing, but just wants some sound bites so she can maybe get her little tight ass a nice raise, and I’m cool with that too, I’ve been giving you all raises. But I need to focus on me now.
“I’m coming for my revenge here.
“I flew an entire team to Portugal and to Iceland to make my adjustments in preparation and fix my errors I made with the weight and the cardio prep.
“With the right adjustments and the right focus, I will finish what I started in that last fight.
“I will not do this if I am back on the road handing out flyers again.”
McGregor claims he asked the UFC if he could focus solely on his preparation for the UFC 200 rematch with Diaz, but that was denied – perhaps explaining why he initially announced his retirement.
He went on to say: “I will always play the game and play it better than anybody, but just for this one, where I am coming off a loss, I asked for some leeway where I can just train and focus. I did not shut down all media requests. I simply wanted a slight adjustment.
“But it was denied.
“There had been 10 million dollars allocated for the promotion of this event is what they told me. So as a gesture of good will, I went and not only saved that 10 million dollars in promotion money, I then went and tripled it for them.
“And all with one tweet.
“Keep that 10 mill to promote the other bums that need it. My shows are good.
“I must isolate myself now. I am facing a taller, longer and heavier man. I need to prepare correctly this time.
“I can not dance for you this time. It is time for the other monkeys to dance. I’ve danced us all the way here.”
He then throws a jab at Diaz, who should go into July’s fight – if it goes ahead – as favourite given his result at UFC 196.
McGregor wrote: “Nate’s little mush head looks good up on that stage these days. Stuff him in front of the camera for it.
“He came in with no shit to do that last one. I’d already done press conferences, interviews and shot the ads before RDA pulled out.
“Maybe I’ll hit Cabo this time and skull some shots pre-fight with no obligation.
“I’m doing what I need for me now.
“It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way.
“I feel the $400million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway.”
And in case anyone failed to grasp that he’s not going anywhere in UFC, McGregor made things abundantly clear, saying: “I am still ready to go for UFC 200.
“I will offer, like I already did, to fly to New York for the big press conference that was scheduled, and then I will go back into training. With no distractions.
“If this is not enough or they feel I have not deserved to sit this promotion run out this one time, well then I don’t know what to say.
“For the record also – For USADA and for the UFC and my contract stipulations – I AM NOT RETIRED.”
So that’s cleared things up – McGregor is not retired and will fight against Diaz at UFC 200 if the company accept his demand to have his press obligations relaxed.
We get the feeling this isn’t the end of this story.