Is Conor McGregor actually retiring? Dana White says if he were him, 'I would retire, too'

During an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on Monday, former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor said he was negotiating for a July fight. That would be big news, because it would be his first fight since a submission loss to lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in their Oct. 6 grudge match in Las Vegas.

But at 10:18 Pacific on Monday, a little more than five hours after taping for “The Tonight Show” concluded, McGregor put out a tweet announcing his retirement.

“Hey guys quick announcement,” it read. “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!”

Most likely, the retirement announcement is McGregor fooling around. He announced his retirement once previously, in 2016 when he was angry that UFC president Dana White demanded he attend a news conference in Las Vegas to promote a rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 200. McGregor was training in Iceland and didn’t want to break camp to do it.

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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Conor McGregor of Ireland celebrates his victory over Eddie Alvarez in their UFC lightweight championship fight during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Nevada , United States - 26 August 2017; Conor McGregor, right, and Floyd Mayweather Jr during their super welterweight boxing match at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, USA. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor takes part in UFC 205 Open Workouts at Madison Square Garden on November 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20: Conor McGregor (L) hits Nate Diaz with a left during their welterweight rematch at the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland , Ireland - 19 November 2016; UFC Lightweight and Featherweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC Fight Night 99 in the SSE Arena, Belfast. (Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor of Ireland takes the belt of lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (not pictured) during the UFC 205 press conference inside The Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - NOVEMBER 19: (L-R) Artem Lobov of Russia celebrates with teammate and UFC champion Conor McGregor after his featherweight bout against Teruto Ishihara during the UFC Fight Night at the SSE Arena on November 19, 2016 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Lobov defeated Ishihara by unanimous-decision. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
New York , United States - 17 March 2017; UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor during an interview in The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York, USA. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor of Ireland warms up backstage at Madison Square Garden prior to his lightweight championship fight agianst Eddie Alvarez during the UFC 205 event on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor of Ireland poses for a picture during the UFC 205 post fight press conference at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Conor McGregor of Ireland celebrates his KO victory over Eddie Alvarez of the United States in their lightweight championship bout during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Conor McGregor of Ireland warms up in his locker room prior to his lightweight title fight against Eddie Alvarez during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Eddie Alvarez of the United States (right) fights against Conor McGregor of Ireland in their lightweight championship bout during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Conor McGregor of Ireland warms up in his locker room prior to his lightweight title fight against Eddie Alvarez during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: (R-L) Conor McGregor of Ireland and Eddie Alvarez face off during the UFC 205 weigh-in inside Madison Square Garden on November 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor reacts during UFC 205 Weigh-ins at Madison Square Garden on November 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor of Ireland interacts with fans and media during the UFC 205 press conference inside The Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor of Ireland interacts with the media and fans during the UFC 205 press event at Madison Square Garden on September 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Nov 12, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) celebrates with his two championship belts after defeating Eddie Alvarez (red gloves) in their lightweight title bout during UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20: (L-R) Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor of Ireland embrace after finishing five rounds in their welterweight bout during the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Conor McGregor of Ireland steps onto the scale during the UFC 205 weigh-in inside Madison Square Garden on November 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20: (R-L) Nate Diaz punches Conor McGregor of Ireland in their welterweight bout during the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20: Conor McGregor waits for the start of his welterweight rematch against Nate Diaz at the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. McGregor won by majority decision. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20: Conor McGregor of Ireland prepares to walkout prior to facing Nate Diaz in their welterweight bout during the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20: (2nd L-R) Mixed martial artist Conor McGregor, golfer Rory Mcllroy and singer Niall Horan celebrate McGregor's UFC 202 victory during the official after-fight party at Intrigue Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Wynn Las Vegas)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20: (L-R) Conor McGregor punches Nate Diaz in their welterweight bout during the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20: Conor McGregor of Ireland fights Nate Diaz in their welterweight bout during the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) fights Dustin Poirier (red gloves) during a featherweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) is victorious over Dustin Poirier during a featherweight fight during UFC 178 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - APRIL 06: (L-R) Conor McGregor punches Marcus Brimage in their featherweight fight at the Ericsson Globe Arena on April 6, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 18: Conor McGregor of Ireland punches Dennis Siver of Germany in their featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at the TD Garden on January 18, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 25: Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor face off during their official weigh-in at T-Mobile Arena on August 25, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two will meet in a super welterweight boxing match at T-Mobile Arena on August 26. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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White stuck to his guns and yanked McGregor from the card. He eventually fought Diaz at UFC 202 in August of that year.

White, though, issued a statement to Yahoo Sports on Monday in which he said it makes sense for McGregor to retire. He’s young and in good health, and having success selling his line of Irish whiskey, Proper 12.

“He has the money to retire and his whiskey is KILLIN it,” White texted to Yahoo Sports. “It totally makes sense. If I was him, I would retire, too. He’s retiring from fighting, not from working. The whiskey will keep him busy and I’m sure he has other things he’s working on. He has been so fun to watch!!! He has accomplished incredible things in this sport. I am so happy for him and I look forward to seeing him be as successful outside of the octagon as he was in it.”

UFC president Dana White, left, told Yahoo Sports it "totally makes sense" for Conor McGregor to retire right now. (Getty)

White told Yahoo Sports that he hasn’t spoken to McGregor in several weeks, and he described their last talk as “great.” White said he’d never had a bad conversation with McGregor.

Before sending the tweet, McGregor told Fallon, “We’re in talks for July, so we’ll see what happens. [There are a] lot of politics going on. The fight game is a mad game but as I said again, to my fans, I am in shape and I am ready.”

His reference to “politics” is apparently in regard to White saying McGregor wouldn’t headline a July pay-per-view because it’s not the main event, and he doesn’t want to have a non-title fight atop a pay-per-view show again.

It’s hard to believe McGregor would retire in his prime, particularly with so many lucrative fights ahead of him. His fight vs. Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 ended up with 2.5 million buys on pay-per-view, setting a company record. His 2017 boxing match with Floyd Mayweather sold 4.4 million, and is the second-largest pay-per-view ever, trailing only the 2015 boxing match between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao that sold 4.6 million.

A rematch with Nurmagomedov would likely sell more than two million, while bouts with the likes of Diaz and Donald Cerrone would likely do well over a million.

If McGregor follows through on his vow to retire, he’ll do so as by far the biggest draw in the history of the sport and as one of the greatest fighters in the sport’s history.

He became the first man in UFC history to simultaneously hold championships in two divisions. He won the featherweight title at UFC 194 when he knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds. Then, he became lightweight champion at UFC 205 in New York when he stopped Eddie Alvarez in the second round.

McGregor is 21-4 overall in MMA and he’s gone 9-2 in the UFC. He has had wins over the former featherweight champion Aldo and current featherweight champion Max Holloway, along with Diaz, Alvarez and Dustin Poirier.

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