UFC President Dana White has explained why Conor McGregor is still featured in the official UFC rankings despite being retired.
McGregor shocked the MMA world by announcing his retirement from MMA on June 6.
“The game just does not excite me, and that’s that,” McGregor told ESPN shortly after announcing his retirment on Twitter. “All this waiting around. There’s nothing happening. I’m going through opponent options, and there’s nothing really there at the minute. There’s nothing that’s exciting me.”
While many members of the combat sports community are skeptical that McGregor will stick to his retirement plans, White has been adamant that the Irishman’s retirement is legitimate, and that he’s not thinking about offering him fights at the moment.
“He is retired,” White told Barstool Sports earlier this month. “Conor McGregor is not fighting. He is retired. I have no plans.”
Despite White’s adamance that McGregor is truly retired, the Irishman still holds a position in the UFC lightweight rankings—a division he hasn’t fought in since 2018. He’s also ranked in the promotion’s pound-for-pound top-15.
Speaking the The Schmo this week, White gave his best guess as to why McGregor has maintained his spots in the UFC rankings when other fighters who recently retired, such as former bantamweight and flyweight champ Henry Cejudo, were ejected from the rankings.
According to White, it could be because Cejudo exited the USADA testing pool, but McGregor did not.
“That’s a very good point,” White said. “I don’t know the answer to this, but Cejudo probably dropped out of the USADA testing pool and Conor’s probably still in it.”
While this would certainly explain why McGregor is still ranked and Cejudo is not, it’s unlikely White’s comment is accurate.
Despite his retirement, Cejudo has been chomping at the bit for the opportunity to challenge Alexander Volkanovski, and is therefor most likely still in the USADA testing pool. A more likely explanation is that the UFC rankings are ruled entirely by the whim of the promotion and its ranking panelists.
Do you think Conor McGregor should still be ranked at bantamweight?