A sports star becomes globally recognised in a number of ways. Some scale great fame through their performances on the field, others enter the public’s consciousness through savvy self-promotion. But few are able to combine the two with equal panache.
Muhammad Ali was the master of both camps, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a modern day PR phenomenon. However, nobody creates a buzz like UFC’s Conor McGregor.
His arrogant, trash-talking persona has pushed his sport to a new audience in the last few years and it is all helped by the fact he has been very successful inside the Octagon too.
But has that all come to an end after an intriguing tweet from the Irishman hinted at retirement? As you’d expect, the news caused quite a stir, but was it truthful or just another PR stunt?
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
At half-past seven on Tuesday evening, McGregor dropped his bombshell. Note the retweet count.
I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya’s later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
Its impact was noted by ESPN scribe Darren Rovell
68,000 retweets to Conor McGregor’s “retiring” tweet in 2 hours. Only 8 athlete tweets in 2015 had more RT’s. https://t.co/6nKj4XWKkM
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 19, 2016
Hours later, UFC pulled McGregor out of UFC200, where the Irishman was due to
fight Nate Diaz
— UFC (@ufc) April 19, 2016
After learning the news Diaz, who was having a rematch with McGregor after
inflicting the Irishman’s first career defeat at UFC 196, retired too.
It didn’t make as much of a splash
I guess my work here is done I’m retiring too✌🏼️👊🏼
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) April 19, 2016
If this is all a ruse, McGregor’s camp certainly have their story straight.
Here’s the 27-year-old’s coach
Well was fun while it lasted
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) April 19, 2016
McGregor’s, Diaz’ and Kavanagh’s tweets came within an hour and a half of
each other, prompting suspicion of their motives
If McGregor isn’t leveraging the UFC for a bigger deal, perhaps he’s
switching to a different ring?
— Marc Jones (@BigJones24) April 19, 2016
For the rest of the internet, the only natural reaction to such news
was to create memes and gifs about it
— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) April 20, 2016
— Ladbrokes (@Ladbrokes) April 20, 2016
Dana White reading Conor McGregor’s retirement tweet like… pic.twitter.com/F6lXOwDLjI
— BreatheSport (@BreatheSport) April 19, 2016
— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) April 19, 2016
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.