UFC fans were left with their eyebrows raised when Conor McGregor took to Twitter to announce his retirement in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The Irishman only made his triumphant return in January, knocking out Donald Cerrone in 40 seconds, and has continued to outline his intention to fight again this year.
However, he surprised fans with an announcement during the UFC 250 broadcast, writing: ‘Hey guys I’ve decided to retire from fighting. Thank you all for the amazing memories! What a ride it’s been! Here is a picture of myself and my mother in Las Vegas post one of my World title wins! Pick the home of your dreams Mags I love you! Whatever you desire it’s yours.’
And it was a sense of deja vu for many with this being the third time McGregor has posted such a tweet in the last four years.
The first came back in 2016, just weeks after he had suffered the first defeat of his UFC career.
McGregor was on the wrong end of a huge upset when he was submitted by Nate Diaz after the fan-favourite had stepped in to face him on short notice.
Believing he could easily correct the mistakes he made in the fight, McGregor demanded an immediate rematch.
It was granted, the fight scheduled to take place in the main event of the landmark UFC 200 event that summer.
However, it soon fell to pieces, the UFC pulling their biggest star from the card because he refused to attend pre-fight promotional appearances in Las Vegas.
McGregor then shocked fans, tweeting, ‘I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.’
‘Is Conor McGregor retiring? Only he can answer that question,’ UFC president Dana White told ESPN in the aftermath. ‘I don’t know. But he will not be a part of UFC 200.’
But the ‘retirement’ was short-lived, the UFC re-booking his rematch with Diaz and making the announcement during the UFC 200 broadcast three months later.
McGregor would go on to win on the judges scorecards at the end of a thrilling five-round contest, the fight dubbed one of the greatest of all time.
The victory solidified McGregor’s superstar status and he then made history by becoming the first duel-weight world champion in UFC history.
Relations with the UFC remained good for some time, the promotion allowing him to box Floyd Mayweather and then giving him a lightweight title shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov after almost two years outside the octagon.
However, McGregor was becoming more and more difficult to negotiate with with the Dubliner less reliant on fighting as a source of income.
There were run-ins with the law while his whiskey brand seemed to be garnering more of his attention. McGregor himself admits he lost his way.
He did make it to the cage to face Khabib, however, and was subsequently beaten via submission in the fourth round. The bout was marred by a skirmish between the two arch-rivals and their respective camps following its conclusion, McGregor receiving a six-month suspension for his involvement.
The former champion continued to live the high life and he would abruptly announce his retirement for a second time five months later.