Conor McGregor addresses his long layoff: “There was political shadiness going on in the background”

By Zain Bando - October 10, 2023

Conor McGregor, former UFC double-champion, makes very few public media appearances when he’s inactive. But when he does, it garners buzz and intrigue like any other major sporting figure.

Conor McGregor

McGregor has yet to compete since losing back-to-back fights against Dustin Poirier in 2021 and has not won in the Octagon since a 46-second stoppage victory over Donald Cerrone in January of 2020.

After months of speculation and anticipation, Conor McGregor, 35, finally re-entered the USADA testing pool upon completing the paperwork required from Jeff Novitzky and the UFC.

Unfortunately, fight fans will have to wait longer for McGregor’s return to the Octagon, as it is unclear who his next opponent might be. Although he successfully coached TUF 31 opposite Michael Chandler earlier this year, the promotion has yet to confirm a potential bout between the two stars.

Speaking to Daily Mail Sport Boxing, the Irishman detailed the reasoning behind his extended layoff when asked about fellow boxer Katie Taylor’s future and their similarities. As for McGregor, his layoff lasted for over two-and-a-half years.

“My retirements were political, right,” Conor McGregor said. “There was political shadiness going on in the background that I was like, ‘Good luck to you guys [the UFC]. I’m out of here.’”

RELATED: Jason Knight claims Conor McGregor didn’t show up for a “good solid week” of TUF 31 practices

Conor McGregor didn’t take it a step further in detailing the exact shadiness but said leaving MMA entirely would not have been the best decision for his career.

“It’s tough to walk away for sure,” Conor McGregor said. “How can I speak on this when I’m never gonna walk away? You know, I’m gonna simply recalibrate my competition.”

McGregor has competed in the UFC since 2013, defeating some of the best fighters in the sport, including Max Holloway, Chad Mendes, Eddie Alvarez, and Jose Aldo, to name a few.

McGregor also tried his hand at boxing when he took on Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August of 2017.

What are your thoughts on Conor McGregor’s absence? Let us know, Penn Nation!


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