Could UFC Star Conor McGregor Do a Nigel Farage On Retirement Promise?

UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage in Sheffield, England, April 18, 2016. Farage U-turned on his decision to resign as head of his party in the wake of the 2015 general election. Christopher Furlong/Getty

One is a ferociously driven loudmouth with a taste for controversial nationalist sentiment; the other is a ferociously driven loudmouth with a taste for controversial nationalist sentiment.

Perhaps Conor McGregor and Nigel Farage, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader, have more in common than was previously thought.

McGregor, the UFC featherweight champion from Dublin, sensationally claimed retirement via Twitter on Tuesday evening, sending the world of mixed martial arts into meltdown.

That tweet was followed by another cryptic and swiftly deleted tweet on Wednesday, in which McGregor said he was going to make an announcement later that day.

That never came. What did was UFC President Dana White going on Fox Sports 1 to voice his disbelief that McGregor had actually given up the sport, aged 27.

"He's a reasonable guy, he's a smart guy, so this is weird," White said.

"I do not [think he's retiring]. I do [believe he'll fight again in the next year]. Conor needs to clear up this whole retirement thing. If he's retired, at UFC 200 Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar are fighting for the vacant title."

Farage, of course, sensationally reneged on his decision to resign as UKIP leader in the wake of the general election of May 2015, after his party refused to accept his decision to go.

It is possible that weight of fan fervor could force McGregor into a similar climbdown. If White isn't convinced, there is a fairly good to excellent chance that, as Farage swaggered back to lead the out debate in the EU referendum, McGregor will walk, chest proud and Irish heart beating hard, into the octagon for UFC 200 in Las Vegas in July.

This seems, from White's words, like a political retirement.

Could UFC Star Conor McGregor Do a Nigel Farage On Retirement Promise? | Sports