This weekend, UFC’s Conor “Notorious” McGregor flaunted his soccer skills to Real Madrid Captain and four-time Champions League titleholder Sergio Ramos on Instagram, and the soccer superstar invited McGregor to participate in a training session with the team. Notorious accepted the offer.
The two athletes have gone back and forth on social media providing entertainment for their nearly 80 million collective Instagram followers. On July 18, Ramos shared a clip of himself doing Notorious’ infamous “billionaire strut” with the caption: “What do you think, [Conor McGregor]?”
McGregor responded to the soccer player’s strut, saying: “My bro Sergiooo!!! Hala tasty shots.”
It was then Notorious’ turn to impress Ramos. In an Instagram post on July 25, McGregor shared multiple videos of himself playing soccer and taking shots at a goal. He wrote, “What do you think [Sergio Ramos]?” See the post below:
Ramos responded to McGregor’s post in the comment section, inviting him to come practice with Real Madrid. Ramos said, “[Top] class mate! Fancy a training session at @realmadrid? More than welcome to join us anytime.”
McGregor answered, “[Sergio Ramos] My brother, thank you! The next time I am in Madrid I would be honoured.”
As Notorious retired from mixed martial arts in June, he may have enough time on his hands to make good on the soccer champion’s offer.
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Notorious Retired From MMA in June After Returning to the UFC in Early 2020
After taking more than a year hiatus, McGregor returned to the Octagon for UFC 246 on January 18. Notorious fought Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at welterweight, marking McGregor’s third fight in the weight class.
The fight was one-sided. The Irishman only needed 40 seconds to dispatch Cowboy, winning the highly-anticipated bout by first-round TKO. After the fight, McGregor made it clear he expected to fight two more times in 2020. However, his fight plans were derailed after the world was hit by COVID-19.
Citing not enough interest in his potential opponents and disagreements with the UFC, Notorious tweeted on the night of UFC 250 in June that he was retiring. It was McGregor’s third time announcing his retirement in four years.
He tweeted: “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.” See the post below:
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 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Dh4ijsZacZ
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) June 7, 2020
McGregor Is Still Ranked at Lightweight & on the Pound-for-Pound List
Even though it’s been well over a month since McGregor retired, he is still on the UFC’s official rankings. Notorious is currently ranked No. 4 in the lightweight division and he is also on the male pound-for-pound list, ranked at No. 10.
Typically when a fighter retires, they are removed from the rankings. For example, when Henry Cejudo vacated the bantamweight title in May, he was promptly removed from the bantamweight rankings as well as the pound-for-pound list.
As stated by the UFC, rankings are determined by media members who vote for each weight class and pound-for-pound list. Fighters are only eligible to be voted for if “they are in active status in the UFC.” As McGregor is retired, it is unclear why he can still be voted for.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Sport’s Kevin Iole, UFC president Dana White was asked if McGregor was still in the USADA testing pool. White answered “probably.” If McGregor is still being drug tested by the anti-doping organization, he may possibly still be considered in “active status” and eligible for the rankings. White clarified to Iole that although McGregor is in the USADA pool, he is still retired.