By Keith Idec
Conor McGregor’s retirement announcement came the same day as news later emerged regarding his arrest in January for an alleged rape in December.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Irish authorities arrested the UFC superstar and former boxer in January after a woman alleged McGregor raped her at a Dublin hotel. The Times cited four sources familiar with the investigation into an incident that supposedly occurred in December.
The newspaper noted that McGregor has not been charged with a crime. Official charges don’t typically accompany arrests in Ireland and much of Europe.
Dublin’s McGregor was released soon after his arrest, after answering questions for law enforcement officials.
This rape allegation is the latest in a string of legal entanglements for the 30-year-old McGregor. The New York Times reported that McGregor was a regular guest at the Beacon Hotel, where the attack allegedly took place, and that there’s video footage from McGregor’s room.
Irish media outlets have been reporting since late in December that an “unnamed sportsman” was involved in this incident. Those outlets can’t identify McGregor because laws in that country prevent them from identifying people charged with rape unless convicted.
A spokesman for Gardai, Ireland’s police service, refused Tuesday to identify the perpetrator to The New York Times. A spokeswoman for McGregor told The Times that McGregor’s retirement announcement earlier Tuesday had nothing to do with the rape allegation.
McGregor Tweeted this retirement announcement early Tuesday morning: Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today. I wish all my colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!
His announcement Tuesday marked the second time McGregor has retired from mixed martial arts. The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion also announced his retirement in April 2016, only to fight twice later that year.
McGregor then faced Floyd Mayweather in a 12-round, 154-pound boxing match. McGregor made around $100 million for the first boxing match of his career, in which Mayweather beat McGregor by 10th-round technical knockout in August 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
McGregor came back to UFC 13½ months later. Rival Khabib Nurmagomedov beat McGregor by submission in the fourth round October 6 at T-Mobile Arena.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended McGregor for six months and fined him $50,000 for his part in a post-fight brawl with Nurmagomedov’s handlers. Nurmagomedov also was suspended six months and fined $50,000 for his actions after defeating McGregor.
McGregor’s arrest January 17 on this rape allegation was the first of two this year for him. He also was arrested March 11 in Miami Beach, where he was charged with robbery and criminal mischief for allegedly stealing the cell phone of a fan attempting to take a photograph of McGregor.
In July, McGregor pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge. In that incident last April 5, McGregor threw a dolly at a bus while making a promotional appearance at Barclays Center in Brooklyn for UFC 223.
Two UFC fighters were injured as a result of the dolly breaking windows on that bus.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.