Conor McGregor has hinted at a return to the UFC shortly after announcing his retirement from MMA for a second time.
The former two-weight champion tweeted on Wednesday:
It came just over a week after he had revealed his decision to retire from the sport:
Conor McGregor @TheNotoriousMMA
Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as “Mixed Martial Art” today. I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!
The tweet also followed an online interaction with Khabib Nurmagomedov, whom McGregor lost to in October 2018 in his last fight.
Per MMA Junkie's Simon Samano, in a since-deleted post on Twitter, McGregor shared photos from Nurmagomedov's wedding that showed the Russian's wife obscured by clothing alongside the caption, "Your wife is a towel mate."
Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports was one of many to criticise the post, which was considered insensitive to Nurmagomedov and his wife's Muslim faith.
In response, Nurmagomedov tweeted alongside a graphic photo that appeared to feature McGregor with a woman: "Rapist, you are Rapist. You are a hypocrite who is not responsible for your actions. Justice will find you. We will see."
Per the New York Times' Tariq Panja, McGregor is under investigation after a woman said he sexually assaulted her in his native Ireland in December.
The 30-year-old has announced his retirement from MMA before, having done so in 2016:
He quickly made a U-turn on the decision, though, and returned to the Octagon to fight twice more that year.
In light of that, many have been sceptical that his recent announcement would be the end of his UFC career, including the company's president Dana White.
When asked by Las Vegas CBS8 (via UFC.com) if he thought McGregor was truly retired, White said: "No. 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."
In October, McGregor submitted to Nurmagomedov in the fourth round of their eagerly anticipated showdown as the Russian defended the UFC Lightweight Championship.
The belt had previously been held by McGregor after he beat Eddie Alvarez in 2016, but the Irishman had been stripped of it because of inactivity.
There would likely be plenty of appetite for a rematch among fans, so it would come as no surprise if McGregor did come back for a second time.