On Tuesday, current UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor sent out a tweet claiming that he’s retiring from mixed martial arts. So far, no one knows if McGregor is really retired, or if he’s just doing it to get attention. But, one thing is for sure, and that’s that the UFC is taking the current featherweight champ’s tweet very seriously.
Just a few hours after McGregor posted the tweet, the UFC announced that “The Notorious One” had been pulled from the UFC 200 show where he was supposed to have a rematch with Nate Diaz.
UFC president Dana White appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter, and he shed a little light on the Conor McGregor situation, saying that the reason why they decided to pull McGregor from July’s UFC 200 is because he flat-out refused to show up to a press conference.
“Obviously we still have a good relationship with Conor. I respect Conor as a fighter and I like him as a person. But you can’t decide not to show up to these things. You have to do it.”
White also said that McGregor didn’t want to be involved in any of the marketing for UFC 200 because he didn’t want to leave Iceland, which is where he’s currently training.
“Conor did not want to come to Las Vegas and film the commercial or be a part of any of the marketing we have. He’s in Iceland training and that’s not possible.”
Some are suggesting that McGregor’s retirement tweet was just a negotiation tactic, and he was hoping that the UFC would end up giving into whatever his demands were for UFC 200 after he announced his retirement. But, they didn’t, and it looks like they’re going to continue on without him.
The entire UFC 200 show was built around Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz, and now, one-half of their main event is gone.
There’s a possibility that the UFC reaches out to former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, with the idea that he’ll just take McGregor’s spot in the main event. Of course, GSP has already beaten Nate Diaz’s brother Nick.
The fight between McGregor and Diaz was going to take place at welterweight. So, if the UFC does ask St. Pierre to fight Nate Diaz, he’ll be able to return to the octagon with a high profile fight in his natural weight-class.
There’s been some talk of pulling Nate Diaz off the card, and having Georges St. Pierre try to regain the welterweight championship that he never lost, which would mean GSP vs. Robbie Lawler would be the main event of this July’s show.
Unfortunately for the UFC, there’s really not that many big-time stars who can fill-in for Conor McGregor at UFC 200. So, if GSP doesn’t agree to fight on the card, then they may be forced to compromise with McGregor to get him back on the show.
Ronda Rousey may be willing to come back early, but the chances of that happening are slim to none. There’s also a chance that Jon Jones could defend the interim light heavyweight championship on the show, that’s if he’s able to defeat Ovince St. Preux this coming Saturday night.
As of right now, it does look like the UFC 200 event is in a ton of trouble. Up until Tuesday, many believed that it would be the biggest UFC pay-per-view of all-time, and it still may be if Dana White can work things out with Conor McGregor, or if he can talk Georges St. Pierre into fighting on the show.
[Image via Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images]