Two-time UFC champion Conor McGregor has stirred fans by hinting at resuming his MMA fighting career. He concluded his busy week on social media with a message to “fans of all faiths and all backgrounds” with what appears to be a vow to see them in the octagon, where UFC fights are held.
I want to move forward, with my fans of all faiths and all backgrounds.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 4, 2019
All faiths challenge us to be our best selves.
It is one world and one for all ❤️
Now see you in the Octagon.
The tweet came just nine days after McGregor’s announcement that he was retiring from his sports career. The 30-year-old, who grabbed the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight title in two consecutive years, in 2015 and 2016, made his shock announcement on Twitter on 26 March.
However, many suspect that it might be no more than an intentional and calculated ploy to pull the wool over their eyes, as he later posted a number of pictures of himself in training. Some fighting enthusiasts suggested that he might merely be seeking greater negotiating leverage while seeking a share in the UFC by publicly announcing his retirement. Or, alternatively, he is thought to possibly be attempting to distract the general public from a recent sexual assault accusation brought against him amid an ongoing investigation into the case, as well as his recent arrest over an uncontrolled burst of rage.
While being "retired", he did not abandon social media attacks on his rival from Russia’s Republic of Dagestan, Khabib Nurmagomedov, which recently brought accusations of racism and Islamophobia against McGregor. The Irishman's post triggered a barrage of criticism online, sharing a picture of Nurmagomedov and his wife with a fully covered face on their wedding day with the caption "Your wife is a towel mate".
The post was later deleted, but screen grabs of it quickly went viral. While many commenters slammed the post as low and disrespectful, Nurmagomedov delivered his own heavy blow with a tweet calling the Irish fighter a "rapist", alluding to reports about an accusation of sexual assault against McGregor.