The 30-year-old is currently suspended from fighting by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after UFC 229 – a night which saw his defeat overshadowed by a post-fight brawl with victor Khabib Nurmagomedov.
With his suspension ongoing, talk has been rife as to his next fight but McGregor looked to call time on his career on social media, only for fans to simply refuse to believe it is not a hoax.
Conor McGregor left MMA fans stunned as he announced his retirement from the sport
The Irishman took to Twitter in the early hours of Tuesday to reveal his retirement decision
Posting on his Twitter page in the early hours of Tuesday morning, McGregor wrote: ‘Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as ‘Mixed Martial Art’ today. I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition.
‘I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!’
UFC president Dana White confirmed the shock news just one hour after McGregor’s announcement on Twitter.
Fans were left stunned but many are wary after he announcement a retirement back in 2016
UFC President Dana White confirmed the news of McGregor’s retirement via text to ESPN
‘He has the money to retire and his whiskey is KILLIN it,’ White told ESPN via text message. ‘It totally makes sense and if I was him i would retire too.
‘He’s retiring from fighting. Not from working. The whiskey will keep him busy and I’m sure he has other things he’s working on. He has been so fun to watch! He has accomplished incredible things in this sport.
CONOR MCGREGOR MMA RECORD
Total fights – 25
Wins – 21
Wins by knockout – 18
Wins by submission – 1
Wins by decision – 2
Defeats – 4
Defeats by submission – 4
‘I am so happy for him and I look forward to seeing him be as successful outside of the octagon as he was in it.’
The news was particularly shocking given it came hours after an appearance on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Jimmy Fallon in which he claimed he was currently in negotiations with the UFC about a return to the octagon in July.
Fans were quickly wary of McGregor’s retirement post given the Irishman’s previous hoax back in 2016.
McGregor that time suggested he had retired from MMA when he tweeted he ‘decided to retire young’ a month after losing to Nate Diaz.
While some users joked they would ‘see him at ‘Mania’, a reference to suggest he could cross over into professional wrestling, others simply suggested McGregor will use all the attention to return to the sport when he announces his next fight.
Twitter user Aiden Mason aired a popular view as he said: ‘Yep, he’s using it as promotion and then soon he’ll announce a fight and everyone will make a big deal and say he’s coming out of retirement.’
ESPN commentator Jorge Sedano jokingly added: ‘It’s a little early for April fools.’
Fans quickly dismissed the announcement and suggested McGregor will return to the sport
One user was supported by others when suggesting the move is all a build-up to his next bout
Only last week McGregor looked to confirm a trilogy fight with long-standing rival Diaz when he told TMZ Sports: ‘I have nothing but respect. I owe him the trilogy now and the trilogy will happen.’
McGregor has not entered the cage since losing his lightweight title to Nurmagomedov back in October but will see his suspension from UFC 229 lifted on April 6.
If his retirement is legitimate – unlike the one following the Diaz defeat in 2016 – the Irishman will do so as the first fighter in UFC history to hold two belts at the same time in two weight classes.
He also made the crossover to boxing for a sole bout against undefeated champion Floyd Mayweather in a fight that earned him an estimated $100million (£75m).
McGregor has endured a turbulent few months and he was in trouble earlier this month when he was arrested and charged with ‘criminal mischief and strong-armed robbery’ after ‘smashing fan’s phone’ in Miami.
McGregor has not entered the cage since his defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October
The Irishman earned around $100m after he crossed over to boxing to fight Floyd Mayweather
According to local 10 news, citing the arrest report, McGregor and the fan were leaving the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, home to the LIV nightclub, just after 5am on Monday, March 11.
An altercation is believed to have taken place when the individual in question attempted to take a photograph with the UFC star.
McGregor now faces charges of misdemeanor criminal mischief and strong-armed robbery.
In a call obtained exclusively by DailyMailTV, Ahmed Abdirzak, the 22-year-old victim, described the moment he pleaded with the UFC star to return his damaged $1,000 iPhone 8 during the early hours row last Monday.
‘I said sir please, please. May I have my phone back?’ Abdirzak told an emergency dispatcher from the Miami Beach Police Department. ‘And what he done, he smashed it on the floor. He picked it up, you could see him putting it in his pocket and taking it into his vehicle,’ he added.
The more serious of the two charges, the robbery offense, carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years and could all but end the Irishman’s chances of getting another visa to fight in the US.
McGregor had a tough few months and found himself arrested earlier this month in Miami