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7 Jun, 2020 13:02

'I don't give a f*ck': 'Bored' McGregor says UFC 'doesn't excite him' as he explains retirement announcement

'I don't give a f*ck': 'Bored' McGregor says UFC 'doesn't excite him' as he explains retirement announcement

Hours after declaring his retirement again on Twitter, Conor McGregor has claimed he planned the announcement two weeks ago when he felt frustrated and demotivated by the UFC's failure to "keep the ball rolling."

McGregor had wanted to fight Justin Gaethje, who beat Tony Ferguson to claim the UFC interim lightweight title at UFC 249 in April, in a bout at the mysterious 'Fight Island' location where events are expected to be held from as early as the end of this month, according to ESPN.

He had originally targeted a fight on July 11 in Las Vegas but saw his plans scuppered by the "bleeding bonkers" travel and organizational problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic and was angered by offers of "stupid fights" at different weights.

"They should have just done the fight – me and Justin for the interim title – and just kept the ball rolling," McGregor told ESPN, blaming the UFC for "balking" and "dragging on" negotiations when he suggested options at lightweight and cut weight in readiness to compete.

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"They wanted to show power and stomp all over me. I don't know why they do this. There's f*ck all happening at the minute. They want to throw me up and down weights and offer me stupid fights. I don't really give a f*ck. I'm over it."

McGregor criticized the UFC's decision to provisionally schedule Gaethje's likely challenge against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov for September, accusing bosses of causing delays between fights while ignoring the "right methods" he had put forward.

"All this waiting around," he rued. "There's nothing happening. I'm going through opponent options, and there's nothing really there at the minute. The game just does not excite me, and that's that."

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The former two-weight world champion was uninspired by the UFC Fight Night headlined by Gilbert Burns's win over Tyron Woodley on May 31 and left cold by UFC 250, which was held behind closed doors in Las Vegas on Saturday.

"I'm a bit bored of the game," he said, making no mention of a much-anticipated rematch opportunity against bitter rival Nurmagomedov while admitting that a match-up against a fighter who does excite him, Anderson Silva, had been under serious consideration.

"I don't know if it's no crowd. I don't know what it is. There's just no buzz for me. I'm trying to get excited. I'm trying my best. And when the Anderson one came along, I was like, 'yeah, sh*t, that's a mad fight.'

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"I would go in there and put him away...and then what would happen? They'd say he's old and he's over the hill and he's past his prime and all."

McGregor accepted a challenge from Silva, who he considers the greatest MMA fighter of all time, just days before the Irishman's third claim to have retired via social media since 2016.

A meeting with the legendary former middleweight champion, who is now 45 and has won once in eight fights since 2012, would have required McGregor to reconsider his plans to lose weight in anticipation of taking on Gaethje.

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"I'm thinking I don't want to be cutting if I'm fighting at 170," he explained. "I have to be careful here. My body has to be correct to the weight. I'm just over it, man."

McGregor is seen as a motivational poster boy by a host of sports stars and public admirers, spawning dozens of dramatic training montages thanks to his pronounced commitment to "visualization,""motivation" and "dedication" during his debut UFC year in 2013.

He blamed waning desire for a string of controversies in the aftermath of his loss to Nurmagomedov in October 2018, including a six-month ban for a post-fight brawl, an arrest for armed robbery for which the charges were later dropped and a fine for assaulting a man in a Dublin pub.

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"My coach says it’s the worst nightmare for a coach if his student achieves it all – the money, the fame, the belts, all of this," he explained at the time. "What then to motivate me?

"I probably had to go through that and then come back to it for the love of it, which is why I got into it in the first place. I would train and then I'd go missing for three days and then I'd come back. It was sporadic and on my call."

ESPN quoted sources as saying that money had not been involved in the failure of McGregor's latest talks with the UFC.

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