Farewell Again Notorious McGregor

He has been the most divisive figure in Irish sport but Conor McGregor has decided (again) that it is time to hang up his gloves and retire from MMA.

He did it before, back in 2016 but returned to the sport and to the massive payday fight against Floyd Mayweather.

There is, of course, a long tradition of fighters saying enough was enough but then changing the mind for one last payday.

McGregor will hardly need that and it may serve him better to retire from the public spotlight after a year in which he has been in court more often than he has been in the Octagon.

At his peak, he was an astonishingly disciplined and fit exponent of MMA. He created a sense of occasion around the UFC which propelled that franchise to heights it may not have otherwise reached.

He was at one stage the most recognised Irish sports star of all time, though his appeal was very much based on youth rather than older age groups.

Then again, that is often the way and McGregor was a torchbearer for a class of young Irish, now maybe not quite so young, that rallied to his guttural cry.

He proved a smart operator in media and in business and was voted by the public as RTÉ Sports personality of the Year in 2016.

A two-time World Champion in his chosen sport, he leaves a legacy that few might match, though that has been tarnished by the violent outbursts, shows of disrespect and more that he has brought upon himself at times.

More will think of him as flawed than a genius but like most, he is a bit of both.

He was never dull and who knows this may be just a negotiation play but it kind of feels like the right time to walk away.

He certainly made an impact.

Related: The Story of the Mayweather Pants

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