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McGregor explains retirement: 'There's nothing that's exciting me'

Chris Unger / UFC / Getty

Former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor said early Sunday morning that he announced his retirement following UFC 250 due to a lack of inspiration.

"All this waiting around," McGregor told ESPN's Ariel Helwani. "There's nothing happening. I'm going through opponent options, and there's nothing really there at the minute. There's nothing that's exciting me."

McGregor hasn't stepped into the Octagon since his 40-second win over Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 in January. Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, he intended to return in July and fight a total of three times this year.

The Irishman said he wanted to face Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title, but the UFC instead plans to move forward with a title unification bout between Gaethje and champion Khabib Nurmagomedov - which McGregor believes is about the promotion displaying the power it has over its athletes.

"I laid out a plan and a method that was the right move, the right methods to go with," McGregor said. "And they always want to balk at that and not make it happen or just drag it on. Whatever I say, they want to go against it to show some kind of power. They should have just done the fight - me and Justin for the interim title - and just kept the ball rolling."

McGregor has discussed several potential opponents since his win over "Cowboy," including welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal, and former middleweight champ Anderson Silva, among others. But ultimately, nothing has come to fruition.

"There's nothing there for me," McGregor said. "I'm trying to get excited. I'm trying my best."

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