Conor McGregor has never liked being told 'no'.
Four years ago he announced his 'retirement' for the first time shortly after being pulled from the UFC 200 card for failing to fulfil his promotional obligations.
And in 2019 the Irishman appeared to hang up his gloves again after growing frustrated in his attempts to convince the UFC to offer him a stake in the $4billion company.
On both occasions he quickly reversed his decision, going on to exact revenge over Nate Diaz in 2016 and win a second world title three months later when he stopped Eddie Alvarez.
And late last year he announced his return to the octagon with a fight against Donald Cerrone which lasted all of 40 seconds when it took place this January.
So the smart money is on McGregor fighting again, despite his tweet in the early hours of this morning thanking his fans for the memories.
Why? Because once again McGregor has been told to bide his time.
While the UFC has been the most proactive promotion during the coronavirus crisis – putting on five shows in four weeks in Florida and Las Vegas – the lack of live gates is hampering their headline acts.
A McGregor fight can rake in as much as $18million through ticket sales, for example, income which has vanished almost overnight.
That means, as in industries across the world, employees are facing cuts.
In the case of welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal, he claims he has been offered a fight against 170lb champion Kamaru Usman for half the money he earned against Nate Diaz last year.
"I'm not an independent contractor if I can't go anywhere else to make a living," he said. "Let me go and let me see if I'm worth it."
Conor McGregor announces retirement
And with McGregor, the UFC has clearly decided it cannot afford to pay him to fight without a crowd with White saying last week: "The best thing for him – I’m not saying this is what’s going to happen – but in my opinion, he lets this [Justin] Gaethje-Khabib [Nurmagomedov] fight play out and then he fights the winner. I think that’s the smartest move for him."
That would mean McGregor sitting out until after Nurmagomedov and Gaethje clash in September, leaving him twiddling his thumbs until December.
But having clamoured for fights against Masvidal and Anderson Silva in recent weeks, the Dubliner clearly doesn't agree.
And so the battle lines have been drawn again but if history has taught us anything, expect McGregor to rescind his announcement before the summer solstice.
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