If anyone can relate to Conor McGregor’s superstar status in the UFC, it’s former five-time defending bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey
At the height of her popularity, Rousey was right alongside McGregor as the two biggest draws in the UFC.
Folllowing her last fight in 2016, Rousey decided to exit the UFC and focus on a new career in WWE where she’s thriving as one of the biggest stars on that roster. Meanwhile, late Monday night McGregor shocked the world by announcing his retirement — for the second time in three years — amidst negotiations with the UFC on his next fight.
Now it’s entirely possible that McGregor’s decision to retire is based solely on a current disagreement with the UFC over his next fight but for now the former two-division champion says he’s calling it a career.
“It’s a creative way to retire and it was a cryptic way to retire,” Rousey said about McGregor on ESPN on Tuesday. “We’ll see how permanent it is.
“If he wants to retire forever, he’s more than earned it. Like I said, I’m ready to buy that second round.”
Rousey has never actually retired from fighting herself, although by all accounts she’s not expected to ever compete inside the UFC Octagon again.
McGregor is in a completely different place than Rousey when making his announcement that he’s decided to retire from the sport.
He’s coming off a hard fought loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov last October in the biggest UFC pay-per-view of all time, which came 14 months after McGregor faced Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match that was the second biggest pay-per-view in history.
It’s safe to say McGregor definitely has the money to retire but whether or not the 30-year old Irishman actually stays away from fighting forever remains to be seen.