Two weeks ago the world of MMA was rocked after a tweet sent out by Conor McGregor said that he was leaving the sport and officially retiring. The news came as a massive shock, and it was not something anyone saw coming, but the two times Ultimate Fighting Championship title-holder was adamant and the fans left disappoints. Now, reports that he has now appeared to backtrack and change his mind, leaving everyone in the field totally confused.

Historically it seems to be something of a publicity stunt to get some media attention, as in 2016 he pulled a similar trick by announcing his retirement and just days later making his return to the sport.

It is clear that there is no love lost between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, and the pair have exchanged a string of inflammatory tweets many of which were later removed. In October McGregor was beaten by Nurmagomedov in the UFC lightweight title fight which caused controversy and there are queries over whether this is why he will now choose to remain in the game.

In his recent television appearance on an American chat show, which was after his twitter resignation statement, he told the host that he was negotiating for a fight in July. This was followed up by a tweet aimed at Nurmagomedov that said ‘I want to move forward, with my fans of all faiths and all backgrounds. All faiths challenge us to be our best selves. It is one world and one for all. Now see you in the Octagon.’ While the tweet was a little obscure is certainly indicated that he was up for a rematch, and this was one tweet that has been allowed to remain on the social media site. The UFC president Dana White stepped in with a statement calling the rest of their exchange unprofessional and unacceptable and reached out to both sides to stop and defuse the tension.

As fans will know after their last meeting, there was a brawl post-match which got nasty and saw McGregor slapped with a $50,000 fine and a six-month UFC suspension for his part in the match. It certainly seems there is unfinished business between the two and being the losing side it would be unlikely he would leave the sport without making an attempt to redress the balance. Despite his resignation threat, he has also suggested that he wants a bare-knuckle fight with boxer Paulie Malignaggi and once more there is no love lost between the two men.

Many fans have now said they think the retirement claims were nothing more than a publicity stunt from the Irish fighter and possibly an attempt to get his ownership stake in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship cage-fighting series.

“He’s stuck on this thing where he wants a piece of the ownership, and if you look at basketball, Michael Jordan didn’t own a piece of the league,” Dana White said when speaking to 8 News Now, a Las Vegas broadcaster. “I think there are other ways that we can make him happy.”

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