Conor McGregor is far from retiring. In fact, he's coming for his revenge.
The polarizing Irish MMA star and UFC featherweight champion called his own bluff in a defiant statement Thursday morning, raging against his pre-fight promotional obligations and all but admitting that his mysterious tweet implying he'd "decided to retire young" was a mere promotional ploy.
"I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting," the garrulous featherweight champion wrote in a post on his Facebook page Thursday. "There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop."
There's just one problem: UFC boss Dana White pulled McGregor from UFC 200 on Tuesday, saying that McGregor "did not want to come to Las Vegas and film the commercial and be a part of the marketing."
In what is sure to become a hotly debated move—is he arrogant, brutally honest, or both?—McGregor defended himself against his UFC promotional absences by admitting to what was essentially a PR gambit: The tweet was a cunning misdirection, designed to gin up press and essentially prove that McGregor could singlehandedly drum up plenty of press without showing up to some "nobody gives a fuck morning show."
"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," he wrote. "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."
McGregor also bared his teeth against Nate Diaz, vowing that "I'm coming for my revenge" in UFC 200 by doubling down on his training and ignoring the distractions of promotion.
"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, normally a featherweight fighter, moved up two weight classes to battle Diaz in their previous match.
"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. Nate's little mush head looks good up on that stage these days. Stuff him in front of the camera for it."
The full statement: