Conor McGregor addresses his retirement from fighting following massive payday

Conor McGregor talks about his future in combat sports following his fight with Floyd Mayweather

Conor McGregor has come a long way in a very short period of time.

It’s well known that when McGregor signed with the UFC back in 2013, he was living on social welfare with collection agents knocking at his door just trying to get paid. Now a scant four years later, McGregor reportedly earned north of $100 million for a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather when he was already one of the highest paid athletes in all of sports.

With that kind of financial security it’s understandable why McGregor is asked about possibly retiring from combat sports all together considering he’s healthy and very wealthy so why not be done with the sport before the sport is done with him?

“I’m very young in the game,” McGregor told “The Late Late Show” in Ireland. “I’ve climbed to the top. I’m still very young from a damage taking standpoint so I will continue to go and see where it goes. I have multiple world titles in the UFC. I have multiple contenders that are clawing at the top, trying to get at me, so we’re in the negotiation stage and we’ll see where we go.

“I will most certainly will compete again for the next couple of years anyways and then I’ll see where it is.”

Of course, McGregor knows that he could walk away from fighting immediately and still be financially secure for the rest of his life and probably provide the same for children and grandchildren at this point.

Still, McGregor has a fire inside of him to fight and that’s why he’s not ready to walk away ahead of his 30th birthday in 2018.

Instead, McGregor looks at his health as the most important factor in deciding when it’s time to retire because right now he’s barely taken any serious damage, which means he can still cash quite a few more massive paychecks before calling it a career.

“I could cut it off yesterday. I don’t really have like a date and an age because I use it from like a damage taking standpoint,” McGregor said. “How many blows have I taken because that’s the true danger in combat sports.

“Compared to other people in the fight game, I am relatively undamaged. I have never been dropped. I was wobbled once. In the [Floyd] Mayweather fight it was fatigue. I wasn’t wobbled, I didn’t see stars once. The only time I was ever wobbled once in a contest was in the [Nate] Diaz I fight. That’s it. That’s the only heavy shot I’ve taken.”

That’s probably good news for the UFC considering McGregor is far and away the biggest draw in all of combat sports and his fights alone generated just over four million pay-per-view buys in 2016.

Now it looks like the UFC can depend on McGregor to bring in a few million more as he plots his return to the Octagon either later this year or in early 2018.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.