Conor McGregor had sent out several mixed messages prior to his stunning retirement announcement on Tuesday. Reading between the lines, McGregor not only felt under-appreciated by the UFC and his peers but he also seemed fearful for his quality of life. Here are some samplings of his tweets and social media postings prior to his announcement.
First, the ones that fall under the under-appreciated/money category.
"Business doesn't sleep. It simply blinks. Stay ready as always." - March 29
"3 years ago today, I began my crusade to take all you bums from 5 figure paydays to multi seven figure paydays. And not even a thank you." - April 6
"Taking companies out of the red since 2013 what's up, lovely tea this." - April 7
"The UFC." (with picture of himself) - April 7
"Enjoy the ride. We only get one." (with picture of BMW steering wheel) - April 8
"Terrible news regarding Joao Carvalho.
To see a young man doing what he loves, competing for a chance at a better life, and then to have it taken away is truly heartbreaking.
We are just men and women doing something we love in the hope of a better life for ourselves and our families. Nobody involved in combat sports of any kind wants to see this. It is such a rare occurrence that I don't know how to take this.
I was ringside supporting my teammate, and the fight was so back and forth, that I just can't understand it.
My condolences go out to Joao's family and his team. Their man was a hell of a fighter and will be sorely missed by all.
Combat sport is a crazy game and with the recent incident in boxing and now this in MMA, it is a sad time to be a fighter and a fight fan.
It is easy for those on the outside to criticise our way of living, but for the millions of people around the world who have had their lives, their health, their fitness and their mental strength all changed for the better through combat, this is truly a bitter pill to swallow. We have lost one of us.
I hope we remember Joao as a champion, who pursued his dream doing what he loved, and show him the eternal respect and admiration he deserves.
Rest in peace, Joao." - April 12
Carvalho died on April 11 following a fight in Dublin, Ireland against Charlie Ward (view YouTube video above). Ward is an Irishman who is a teammate of McGregor's.
"My teammate Charlie just had a good win there," McGregor said immediately following the fight to MMAConnectTV. "Hell of a fight. Your man [Carvalho] took some big shots. Thought it could have been stopped a little earlier. I feel these referees need to be on the ball a little bit."
UFC president Dana White touched on Carvalho's death indirectly and spoke about UFC safety protocol last week with the Tampa Bay Times.
"If you look at the UFC, as long as we've been doing it for 16 years, there's never been a death or serious injury," White told the Times. "It's all about doing the proper medical work before they fight, having the proper medical team there during the fight and making sure they get the right care after the fight. And that's really what it's all about. As long as you're on top of that, it's a fairly safe sport for a contact sport.
"The refs are better and continue to get better," White added. "What I'd like to see is guys who actually really know what it's like to be in there and fight refereeing, not guys that don't. I think we've come a long way. You used to hear me [complaining] about refereeing all the time and I haven't in a long time."