It isn’t uncommon for fans to be taken by surprise by a sudden development surrounding their favorite sportspersons. After all, we’re little in the know about what goes on when these elite athletes are far from the public eye and in their own recesses.
But with some, the shock value is made manifold by their celebrity and the explosiveness of the subject. The instances of such a marriage are elusive, but incendiary when they emerge.
That is exactly how UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor created a furore when he tweeted this on Tuesday:
This has thrown the whole MMA world innto chaos, considering the burgeoning river of hype leading upto the McGregor-Diaz rematch at UFC 200 on July 9th in Las Vegas. McGregor is now no longer part of the card, a fact confirmed by UFC President Dana White: “Is Conor McGregor retiring? Only he can answer that question. I don’t know. But Conor McGregor is not fighting at UFC 200”
The 27-year-old Irishman is one of the hightest paid fighters in the MMA world, let alone the UFC and is also one of their most marketable. It wouldn’t be presumptuous to dismiss the opinions of all those calling this just a hoax or a publicity stunt, considering how well acquainted everyone is with McGregor’s penchant for becoming the cynosure of the MMA sphere.
But before jumping to conclusions, take a look at these tweets that indicate there’s more than meets the eye, one from McGregor’s coach John Kavanah and another from MMA journalist Ariel Helwani:
Common sense counsels that the “Notorious One” has just taken a decision with foresight and that it augurs no immediate incident. How much truth is in McGregor’s atomic tweet? What will happen to the UFC if it indeed comes to pass? How will it affect the course of MMA? At this moment, fans, fighters, media and UFC brass alike wait with bated breath for the next thought to cross the unapologetic Champion’s mind.