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20th Apr 2016

Ariel Helwani believes Joao Carvalho’s death may have been a factor in Conor McGregor’s retirement tweet

Tragedy may have taken its toll

Ben Kiely

Joao Carvalho’s tragic passing had an impact on everyone who attended Total Extreme Fighting’s inaugural event at the National Stadium.

Conor McGregor was one of those in attendance for Carvalho’s fight against his teammate Charlie Ward, and just like everyone else present, he did not see the Portuguese fighter’s untimely death coming.

McGregor posted a touching homage to Carvalho on Facebook following the sad news that he had died in hospital after the event in which he admitted that he didn’t understand what had happened.

“To see a young man doing what he loves, competing for a chance at a better life, and then to have it taken away is truly heartbreaking.”

“We are just men and women doing something we love in the hope of a better life for ourselves and our families. Nobody involved in combat sports of any kind wants to see this. It is such a rare occurrence that I don’t know how to take this.”

Joao Carvalho eye witness account

In an interview on, well respected MMA scribe Ariel Helwani suggested that the tragedy may have influenced McGregor’s decision to announce his retirement.

“Conor McGregor talked about how devastating this was and really put out a heartfelt statement. I don’t think that we can brush that aside.”

“Knowing Conor as I do, the idea of going to Las Vegas and promoting a fight and pretending like all’s well in the fight game, after witnessing something like that first hand, is a tough thing for a young man to swallow.”