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UFC Pulls Conor McGregor From Nate Diaz Rematch

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UFC on Tuesday pulled featherweight champion Conor McGregor from a much-anticipated rematch against Nate Diaz, hours after the 27-year-old fighter tweeted he was retiring.

The league said in a statement it removed McGregor because he was unwilling to participate in promotional events.

Soon after McGregor’s announcement that he had “decided to retire young,” his coach, John Kavanagh, tweeted “well [it] was fun while it lasted.”

McGregor’s agent did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

McGregor’s retirement announcement came as a shock to MMA fans, fighters and reporters. Many initially didn’t believe the tweet to be true.

McGregor had been scheduled to fight Diaz in a non-title welterweight rematch at UFC 200 on July 9, just four months after Diaz defeated McGregor in an upset at UFC 196 in March.

UFC President Dana White had previously said that McGregor was “obsessed” with exacting revenge on Diaz.

But McGregor had other reasons for wanting a rematch. Despite his loss at UFC 196, McGregor took a $1 million cut of the purse (the largest in UFC history). With sponsorship and pay-per-view income,  he reaped an estimated $10 million. As the main card at July’s UFC 200, McGregor would likely surpass those earnings.

McGregor told SportsJoe.ie in November that he was negotiating a $100 million-plus contract with UFC.

In the caption for the Instagram photo below, McGregor claimed to have generated nearly $200 million for UFC in six months, declaring, “I am not a company man. I am the company.” For its part, UFC reported a record $600 million in revenues for 2015.

McGregor had earned about $2.8 million in UFC prize money, according to MMA-Manifesto.

Given his ego and penchant for showmanship, some speculate he may opt for a WWE career.

Known as one of UFC’s most boisterous personalities, “The Notorious” was as much of a star out of the octagon as he was in it, appearing in multiple reality TV show episodes and his own documentary.

His raging personality was backed by his brutal fighting style. Quick and powerful, McGregor could absorb hits that most fighters would succumb to, and then find the strength to pummel opponents. His 13-second first round knockout of Jose Aldo at UFC 194 set a record for the quickest UFC knockout. It’s not often that an entire fight can fit into one modestly sized GIF:

McGregor’s UFC career included witnessing the worst of what the sport can do: kill. Earlier this month, McGregor was ringside watching teammate Charlie Ward fight opponent Joao Carvalho, who sustained fatal head injuries during the match. In an interview with TMZ, McGregor struggled to grasp the tragedy.

It is easy for those on the outside to criticize our way of living, but for the millions of people around the world who have had their lives, their health, their fitness and their mental strength all changed for the better through combat, this is truly a bitter pill to swallow,” he said.

McGregor said his life had changed for the better through combat. But he told The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay in October that earning a living and celebrity lifestyle through ultimate fighting wasn’t something he wanted to maintain.

I know I won’t stay in it that long. I’ll get in, get rich, and get out. That’s all,” he said.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/04/19/ufc-conor-mcgregor-retirement_n_9734676.html

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