Conor McGregor has suggested that Floyd Mayweather Jr has withdrawn from discussions over a potential rematch to last year's so-called 'Money Fight' under MMA rules and will stay retired, claiming that he personally never chased a second meeting between the two biggest names in combat sports.
The duo finally ended months of non-stop speculation in August 2017, with a surprisingly competitive contest as UFC lightweight title-holder McGregor was stopped in the 10th round of his boxing debut in one of the most lucrative bouts in history.
Rumours regarding a repeat of that contest inside the Octagon have ramped up over recent weeks, with former five-weight world champion Mayweather - who called it quits for the second time after surpassing legendary heavyweight Rocky Marciano by extending his undefeated record to 50-0 - using social media to hint that he could be willing to make the surprising decision to switch codes for a one-off event.
However, asked by journalist Mike Bohn while attending NBA All-Star Saturday Night in Los Angeles at the weekend if he was serious about an MMA rematch, the American, who turns 41 later this week, said: "I already fought Conor, and we're at a basketball game, not an MMA match."
McGregor predictably jumped on those comments, taking to social media with a patronising post declaring that Mayweather had pulled out of talks alongside a picture of the pair engaged in a clinch in their first fight.
"I am happy for Floyd and his recent announcement that he is out of these current fight negotiations," he wrote on Instagram. "It is the reason I never seeked [sic] the rematch in the first place. I was happy for him in retirement. My game is a very unforgiving one. It is not like other games.
"I understand completely him staying retired. I will now carry on in my negotiations and see where it goes. Have a great retirement Junior. Now come here and give your old man a hug for old times sake. I'm proud of you son."
While Mayweather remains retired for now, McGregor could be stripped of his UFC title over the coming weeks having yet to defend the 155-pound belt he claimed with a second-round knockout of Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in New York in November 2016.
Interim champion Tony Ferguson is set to finally meet Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 on 7 April and the latter is adamant that they will be fighting for the Irishman's "real" belt in that contest at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The poster for the event appears to state likewise, though no official decision has yet been communicated by the UFC.