Conor McGregor hits out at reports that he plans on stepping away from the sport after UFC 205

The Irish fighter has teased that a big announcement is coming after the event in New York

BY Adrian Collins 08:35 Friday 4 November 2016, 8:35 4 Nov 2016

Image: ©INPHO/Tom Hogan

On Thursday Eddie Alvarez and Conor McGregor sparred verbally as the pair continued their promotional tour for UFC 205.

Madison Square Garden will certainly have a unique atmosphere on November 12th as the two champions face off, and the Irishman has a chance to become the first fighter in the history of the UFC to hold two belts in two different weight classes concurrently. 

That possibility featured prominently in the discussion, as McGregor spoke about his desire to hold two belts aloft, and underscored his belief that he had earned the right to do so because of what he had done in the featherweight division. 

"I think it's crazy the way they say I can't take the featherweight no more, like I ain't the undisputed champion, like I haven't gone in there and taken out that whole division as early as December last year [...] and then they're talking about stripping and vacating and all that type of stuff.

"I'm like: 'Hang on a minute, what did I just go and do there? Did I not just out take out that division, am I not that champion?'

"Everyone always looks ahead so much," McGregor added, "they're talking about vacating the belt and all this, or what comes after, or 'let's talk about Vegas.' I say let's enjoy this moment right now, because It took so long to get here.

"So many hours went into getting the UFC into New York, and now here we are. Now here we are with a potential two weight world champion. A superfight, champion versus champion, the first time a champion has gone up; these are all historic moments and everyone is still talking about 'after'. 'We've got to take that belt off him', 'we've got to get back to Vegas...'

"Let's just enjoy this historic moment for what it is, that's what I'm doing. I'm looking to enjoy this whole experience. I'm very confident in my preparation, very confident in my opponent that I'm facing."

The subject of McGregor's future after the fight in New York was also a point of interest for the media who were on the call, who pressed him on what the big announcement that he teased will be.

Although there has been speculation that he might be taking some time away from the fight game, the Dubliner was clear that he loves the sport and that it remains his focus no matter what.

"There's a load of avenues I can take. There are a load of paths I can head down, but I need to focus on this [...] It's all I do. I don't do nothing else. I continue to show up, I continue to fight, I continue to put on these events for the amazing fans of this sport. Of course I love what I do, and not only am I not getting tired of it, I'm getting better at it."

However, he was also clear that reports stating that he had plans to step away from the sport in 2017 were false, and hit out at the publications who were making those claims. 

"They don’t know sh*t about me or what I’m doing. Stay tuned to what I’m announcing, but don’t be listening to people like that," said McGregor. "People like that have nothing got to do with what’s going on here. I’ll reveal all in time."

When asked whether or not he was going to be stepping back from the sport in the coming months, McGregor added that MMA doesn't really allow you to take breaks. 

"I don’t even know whether you can take time off with this life," said McGregor. "I just stay working, stay creating history, stay changing the game. That’s what I’ve been doing since day one. Now, here we are, close to the New York debut; Madison Square Garden. We broke the Ali vs. Frazier attendance of 21,000 I believe, I’m hearing that.

"We broke the gate record of $14 million set by Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield. So they’re two amazing contests, two historical fights, and I’ve broken them both so. It’s an honour to do that, and that’s it. I'll just continue changing the game, breaking records, continue striving to put this game on to the next level like I've been doing since day one. 

When it comes to settling in New York, the Irish fighter firmly underlined that there were no jitters and that, as usual, it was the McGregor show. 

"Hell no. I run New York. I'm the reason we're even here in the first place. I'm the reason this whole thing is happening. If I wasn't here, this whole ship goes down, and that's the truth. That's fact. There's no one else out there, there's no one but me."

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