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16th Aug 2016

Conor McGregor finally opens up about the retirement tweet that broke the internet

'Thanks for the cheese'

Patrick McCarry

April 19, 2016 – Conor McGregor had it up to his eyeballs.

162,000+ retweets, 175,000+ likes.

It was the tweet that exploded onto timelines the world over and truly confirmed that mixed martial arts was part of the mainstream. Everybody, in just about every country, wanted to know what the hell was going on.

Irate at being summoned to the United States from his training camp in Iceland for a week-long media tour for UFC 200, McGregor made the snap call to retire from the promotion. He eventually rode back on his declaration but took note of the media storm it created.

McGregor has offered insights, brief and detailed, into the thinking behind his tweet but we never got a decent idea of what the day of that tweet was like. On Monday’s MMA Hour, McGregor told Ariel Helwani all about it [go to 3hrs 11mins in the video below] .

“I was in Iceland, chilling. I sent it on my phone. I don’t f**king use a computer, I just use my phone like everybody else,” McGregor said.

“Straight onto Twitter, boom, boom, boom – ‘I’m outta here, thanks for the cheese, catch ya’s all later. See ya!’, boom. Then off to the gym.

“Then, I come back from the gym and, all of a sudden, the thing is f**king everywhere. Awwww shit…

“I have access to a phone and my phone has access to millions upon millions upon millions of people. That was another crazy experience. This life is rollercoaster. It has many, many ups and downs but you’ve got to look at it like this – who doesn’t want to be on a rollercoaster? Who wants to be on flat ground through life?”

Helwani McGregor

McGregor went on to talk about his foray into the media world, with his new website, and the ‘crazy world’ of reaching out to the world from his lodgings in Iceland. He also spoke about a night out he enjoyed as the world ruminated on his possible retirement.

“If it came down to it I would have [retired] but good luck trying to keep an Irishman away from a fight. I would have showed up and slapped someone…the way it was all going down.

“I was happy when it all kicked off. How long did it even go on for, a couple of days? For a day maybe, I was like ‘You know what? F**k it, I am retired. Put your feet up’.

“That night, I had a f**king drink, went out. I was like ‘F**k everybody, I am out of here’.”

McGregor eventually released his ‘Get back to the damn shop’ statement and he was a UFC fighter once again. He insists he was willing to walk away but fight fans are delighted he did not.

This Saturday, he will be hoping that all the controversy, line-drawing and consternation was worth it when he seeks to avenge his UFC 196 loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 202.