Donald Cerrone has a theory about Conor McGregor's retirement
Donald Cerrone doesn't buy Conor McGregor's retirement announcement.
Cerrone was in the running to be McGregor's next opponent, with the pair verbally agreeing to fight one another after Cerrone's successful return to lightweight against Alex Hernandez in January.
While that fight fell apart, with 'Cowboy' now set to meet Al Iaquinta in May instead, McGregor's fighting future remains up in the air after 'The Notorious' announced that he intended to walk away from MMA in an unexpected tweet on Tuesday morning.
But Cerrone has a theory that McGregor's announcement was no more than an attempt to keep his name in the headlines.
"I don’t believe it, I don’t think it is happening," Cerrone said on SportsCenter. "I really don’t. I think it's just a ploy to stay relevant. I don’t think he is going anywhere."
Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today.
I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition.
I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement.
Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 26, 2019
You might remember that McGregor previously announced his intent to retire in 2016 but was back in the Octagon four months later, having gotten his way with the UFC.
The UFC's new deal with ESPN means that the world's preeminent mixed martial arts organisation no longer needs McGregor in the way that they once did.
But amidst the rumours that the Irishman will be attending WrestleMania next week, Cerrone reckons it's only a matter of time before we see McGregor back in the UFC.
"No, I don’t buy it at all," Cerrone continued. "It will look a lot like what he did but I don’t think that is true. I just think he put that out to stir up the media. I read something he may go to the WWE. I don’t know. He may have to get out of his UFC contract to do that.
"Retiring is one way out, but I doubt it. He’s not going anywhere."
One of the apparent reasons for McGregor vs. Cerrone falling by the wayside was the refusal of the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion to feature in a co-main event unless he was given shares in the company.
And from Cerrone's side, he has revealed that he was simply sick of waiting for an answer from 'The Notorious'.
"I was just done waiting, done playing the game," Cerrone said. "He is radio silent, so I wasn’t going to sit and wait, sit and wait, sit and wait, and then all of the sudden something like this happens where he retires.
"I would have just been out. So I said I am not going to sit and wait for you Conor. I am going to take another fight. If you want to fight me in July, I will fight now and I’ll fight you again."