UFC President Dana White has confirmed Tuesday that featherweight champion Conor McGregor pulls off UFC 200 for refusing to promote the fight. White issued the statement over ESPN’s Sports Center and discussed the cryptic message posted on the Irishman’s Twitter account.
I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya's later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
White explained that McGregor is in Iceland training for his rematch with Nate Diaz slated in July and refused to fly to Las Vegas and promote the fight, which supposed to be the main event of the evening. The hard-headedness of McGregor caused him to be axed from the supposed rematch and White added that he cannot speak for McGregor’s future.
“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,” White said.
White also explained that they will talk with Nate Diaz and his team about the matter and will look for a possible replacement that will still top bill the fight with him on July 9.
White also stated over at MMA Junkie that with the actions taken by the UFC, he hopes that it will dismiss the allegations that he is coddling Conor and has neglected other fighters in the organization.
“I get accused of coddling Conor all the time, but at the end of the day, I respect Conor … but it doesn’t make you exempt for showing up for the press conferences and all the promotional stuff that we have to do. We spend a lot of money with this stuff, and you have to do it, man. 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 to not show up for this things. You have to do them,” White stated.
On the other hand, a source stated that McGrgeor will be issuing a statement about the incident. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly speak on the matter.
With McGregor out of UFC 197, other fight cards remain as it is namely Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes for women’s bantamweight title; Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar – for interim featherweight title; Travis Browne vs. Cain Velasquez; Kelvin Gastelum vs. Johny Hendricks; Derek Brunson vs. Gegard Mousasi; Joe Lauzon vs. Diego Sanchez; Takanori Gomi vs. Jim Miller; Enrique Marin vs. Sage Northcutt; and Julianna Pena vs. Cat Zingano.
McGregor has become UFC’s most marketable fighter aside from former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Despite losing to Nate Diaz in UFC 196, McGregor’s marketability has not dropped as fight fans would want to see him again inside the Octagon. Now that he pulls off from UFC 200 in their supposed rematch, White and the UFC will have to find a suitable replacement that will also stir up the fight night.
Photo Courtesy: Justin Moore/Flickr