REUTERS: Irish mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Conor McGregor said on Tuesday he was retiring from the sport, five months after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in a controversial title fight in Las Vegas that sparked a brawl and led to a six-month ban.
The 30-year-old, who has a record of 21 wins and four defeats, is still suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his part in the melee that broke out after his bout with the Russian last October.
This marks the second time McGregor has announced on Twitter that he has "retired". A month after losing to Nate Diaz in March 2016 he said he had decided to "retire young", but returned to defeat the same opponent later that same year.
"Hey guys quick announcement, I've decided to retire from the sport formally known as "Mixed Martial Art" today," McGregor said on his official Twitter account https://www.mmafighting.com/2019/3/26/18281973/conor-mcgregor-tweets-hes-decided-to-retire-from-mma.
"I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement."
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White said in a statement he understood McGregor's decision given the Irishman's commercial success with his own whiskey brand and clothing line as well as his numerous endorsement deals.
"He has the money to retire and his whiskey is killing it. It totally makes sense," White said. "If I was him I would retire too.
"He has accomplished incredible things in this sport. I am so happy for him and I look forward to seeing him be as successful outside of the Octagon as he was in it."
The Dublin-born 30-year-old has never been far from controversy throughout his turbulent career.
The brash Irishman was charged in April 2018 with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief after police said he attacked a charter bus in New York carrying UFC fighters.
Video footage appeared to show McGregor and his entourage in an underground parking area smashing windows on a bus filled with Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters who were at the arena to publicize an upcoming UFC event.
He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a violation which would not result in a criminal record.
In a separate incident earlier this month, McGregor was arrested in Florida after smashing a fan's phone.
Inside the octagon, there have been few better.
McGregor won the UFC's featherweight title in 2015 by knocking out Brazilian Jose Aldo in 13 seconds before having two fights against Diaz at welterweight the following year.
He became the first fighter to hold two UFC belts simultaneously when he defeated Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title in November 2016 but was later stripped of the strap after a period of inactivity.
McGregor was outclassed by five-division champion Floyd Mayweather in a much-hyped boxing bout in August 2017 and he returned to the octagon for the now infamous fight with Nurmagomedov last October.
Moments after McGregor was submitted by Nurmagomedov, the Russian champion climbed the cage and launched himself at the men in his opponent's corner, setting off a prolonged brawl inside and outside the octagon.
McGregor then needed to be restrained from jumping out of the octagon himself and traded punches with some members of Nurmagomedov's camp.
Nurmagomedov received a nine-month ban and US$500,000 fine while McGregor was given a six-month ban and fined US$50,000.
His announcement comes in the wake of reports that UFC boss White had denied McGregor the main event slot at the upcoming event in Las Vegas scheduled for July 7.
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh and Philip O'Connor, Editing by Peter Rutherford)