Conor McGregor: I have not retired
UFC champion addresses his headline making tweet
UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor has broken his silence after posting a tweet strongly intimating his immediate departure from the world of prize-fighting.
The Dubliner released a long statement on Facebook which said that he wanted to fight but "is not paid to promote."
The Notorious said he wants to return to the lifestyle that saw him reach the pinnacle of the sport after he beat Jose Aldo to win the world featherweight championship.
He said: "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.
"It is time to go back and live the life that got me this life."
Read the statement in full Conor McGregor releases statement after retirement rumours
On Tuesday evening, McGregor sent social media into meltdown with a short tweet that stated that he had decided to 'retire young'.
I have decided to retire young.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya's later.
Well was fun while it lasted— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) April 19, 2016
Multiple sources are adamant at this time that McGregor's tweet isn't a joke, troll job or hoax of any kind. Reason(s) behind it is unclear.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 19, 2016
UFC President Dana White subsequently pulled McGregor from the UFC 200 card after he allegedly refused to fulfil media obligations.
But on Thursday, he said: "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."
Belfast Telegraph Digital