UFC featherweight champion, Conor McGregor, will not fight Nate Diaz at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The big question remains, will McGregor fight again or was he serious about retiring from the UFC?
UFC president, Dana White made the difficult decision to pull Conor from the fight because he refused to fly from Ireland to The United States for mandatory promotional events. Hours later, ESPN reported that McGregor posted to Twitter that he decided to retire early and would no longer fight in the UFC. His announcement shocked most of the MMA world, and many UFC fans and enthusiast doubt if he will stay away from the Octagon forever.
Dana White sat down with Colin Cowherd to talk about removing Conor from the UFC 200 card. White wanted to clear up any misconceptions that McGregor was pulled out of the fight due to a financial dispute. Dana explained that McGregor refused to fly to do the mandatory schedule press and promotional activity associated with the fight. White further stated that the UFC has always had a policy that if you skip out on the promotional activities of the fight, you are pulled from the card. In fact, Dana recalls pulling Nate Diaz’s brother, Nick, for refusing to do a press conference.
“We pulled Conor McGregor from UFC 200 and we’re working on other fights right now. Conor did not want to come to Las Vegas and film the commercial and be a part of the marketing. He’s in Iceland training. Is Conor retiring? Only he can answer that question. I don’t know.”
Dana isn’t sure if McGregor was serious about retiring from the UFC. He would imagine in the next few months, he would hear from Conor to set up another fight for him because “Conor loves money and he makes a lot of it.” White revealed that he does coddle Conor often but only because “McGregor delivers in each and every fight.”
White stated that all fighters were required to participate in the promotion of their fights. Conor was aware of the UFC policy and made the choice to skip out on the promotional events scheduled for April 22-24. McGregor’s manager asked White if they could reschedule the press schedule for mid-May. However, Dana stated it wasn’t possible and made the decision to pull him from the card when McGregor refused to attend the planned press activities. And, White revealed that Conor wasn’t [very] upset by being removed from the fight, and made no attempt to make amends with White to fight in July.
MMA Weekly explained that Dana restated that he isn’t sure if Conor really wants to retire, or if just wants a break from the sport. However, if he is retired, then the Frankie Edgar and José Aldo da Silva Oliveira could get a title shot in July. Dana noted that Conor needs to clear up the retirement talk, because if he’s serious, it’s time to give thought to Aldo vs. Edgar.
“That’s the thing. Conor needs to clear up this whole retirement thing and clear it up fast, because if he’s retired, then at UFC 200 Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar are fighting for the vacant title.”
White said if McGregor contacts him so (really soon) he can still fight at UFC 200, but the opportunity window is tiny. Do you think Conor McGregor was serious about retiring from the UFC? Voice your opinion about Conor McGregor, Dana White, and UFC in the comments below and come back later for more MMA news and updates.
[Photo Via AP Photo/Jeff Chiu]