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Conor McGregor's retirement tweet - UFC insiders, MMA fighters, media and fans react

By Tom Rooney

Published 20/04/2016

UFC champion Conor McGregor
UFC champion Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor wears a three-piece suit to a fans Q&A before the UFC 179 weigh-in at Maracanazinho on October 24, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Victorious UFC fighter Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor
Face off: Conor McGregor (left) and Nate Diaz are kept apart by UFC President Dana White at MGM Grand, Las Vegas yesterday
"13 seconds" Conor McGregor beats Jose Aldo in 13 seconds after 11 months of build-up by Ramsey Cardy placed at the PPAI Awards in the Reportage category
Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor celebrates after a first-round knockout victory over Jose Aldo in their featherweight title fight during UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 12, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
UFC featherweight title challenger Conor 'The Notorious' McGregor laughs at Champion Jose Aldo.
Conor McGregor, left, fights Jose Aldo during a featherweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 194, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The reaction in the MMA world to the news that Conor McGregor could be set to retire in the coming days has proved as widespread as it has varied.

On Tuesday night, the UFC featherweight champion posted a tweet strongly intimating his immediate departure from the world of prize-fighting, which subsequently sent social media into a state of unrest.

McGregor is currently in a training camp in Iceland.

The UFC has since announced that the Crumlin fighter will not now face Nate Diaz on July 9.

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Within minutes, speculation regarding the veracity of the tweet spread like wildfire; fans, journalists, fellow fighters, and everyone in between posited theories, while McGregor, currently in Iceland, remained silent.

Joe Rogan, who has been a UFC colour commentator for almost 20 years, heard about the development while recording his podcast and was explicitly sceptical.

He doubted that the Dubliner would hang up his gloves on the back of his most crushing defeat, particularly with a rematch against Nate Diaz booked for July 9 at UFC 200.

"He's decided to retire young which means like 34. Unless he got fucking head-kicked today and knocked into oblivion, the idea that he's going to go out on a loss like that to Nate Diaz,” he said.

Yet SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh all but confirmed his pupil’s tweet.

The notion was further reinforced by Ariel Helwani, the foremost MMA journalist, who has enjoyed a long working relationship with McGregor and many others close to the summit of the UFC.

The reporter appeared certain that the former plumber was calling time on his eight year professional career.  Nate Diaz saw the lighter side of the news, while UFC veteran Donald Cerrone, a longtime verbal sparring partner of McGregor, was less than impressed.

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