MANILA, Philippines – UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor has broken his silence since he surprised all with his shock announcement that he was hanging up his gloves for good.
Despite a post earlier this week that said the opposite, the 27-year-old Irishman clarified that he has no intentions of calling it a career after 22 professional fights as he is ready to pursue his welterweight rematch against Nate Diaz at UFC 200 on July 9.
However, McGregor demands for a lighter publicity and promotional schedule as he blames the busy media obligations for contributing to his disappointing defeat to Diaz.
“I am just trying to do my job and fight here. I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday, April 21.
Diaz, who stepped in as a replacement for the injured Rafael dos Anjos on 11 days notice, shocked the world by submitting McGregor at UFC 196 on March 5.
Although Diaz absorbed significant punishment from McGregor as he was on the receiving end of left hands and uppercuts, the 30-year-old native of Stockton, California entered the second round bleeding from a cut near his right eye, but he remained unfazed and kept throwing punches until McGregor shot for a desperate takedown.
After bailing on a guillotine choke, Diaz positioned himself to full mount and compelled McGregor to surrender his back for a rear-naked choke at the 4:12 mark of the second round.
“I’m coming for my revenge here. 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,” McGregor said. “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 revealed that he asked for a reduction in promoting the event, but his request was denied.
“It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way. I feel the $400million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway,” he stated.
McGregor stressed that he is willing to fly to New York for a big press conference, but he desires to return to training without distraction by lessening the promotional commitments.
“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,” he asserted.
McGregor assured that everyone that he is not walking away from the UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts.
“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,” he said. – Rappler.com