"Conor McGregor acting like 'jealous wife,' isn't truly retired"

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MOSCOW (AP) – Khabib Nurmagomedov doesn’t believe Conor McGregor’s retirement is for real.

McGregor last week said he was quitting MMA, but Nurmagomedov, who beat the Irish star to defend his UFC lightweight title in October, isn’t buying it.

Speaking Tuesday in his native Russia at a Moscow university, Nurmagomedov said that McGregor “couldn’t reach a deal with the UFC, and (his retirement) is so they feel they’ve lost him and they could lose money.”

“I don’t think he’s finished,” Nurmagomedov said. He added, “Conor acts like a jealous wife who says ‘I will leave’ all the time but then comes back.”

McGregor previously retired in April 2016 but reversed the decision two days later and returned to the UFC. The 30-year-old former two-division champ hasn’t won a fight since beating Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 to become the first UFC fighter to simultaneously hold championship belts in two divisions.

UFC President Dana White concurred with Nurmagomedov.

“No,” White said in an interview with KLAS-TV, when asked if he believed that McGregor was truly retired. “I think that there’s some things that Conor wants, and I think that Conor wants to get together face to face, he and I, and we probably will in the next couple of weeks, and we’ll get this thing figured out.”

White added: “Listen, who gets respected more than Conor McGregor does? Come on. The guy’s never been disrespected, definitely not by me. And he’s got a lot of money, too.

“But he’s stuck on this thing where he wants a piece of the ownership, and that’s just – if you look at basketball, Michael Jordan didn’t own a piece of the (NBA), and the list goes on and on. Is Conor very valuable to the sport and to the brand, the UFC? Of course he is. That’s a tough one, but I think there’s other ways that we can make him happy.”

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