Conor McGregor was surprisingly pulled from UFC 200 due to his refusal to commit to do any promotions for his rematch against Nate Diaz. UFC boss Dana White announced the news on ESPN’s SportsCenter. White made the announcement after the superstar had this bizarre tweet earlier in the day announcing his unexpected retirement.
I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya's later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
“Conor did not want to come to Las Vegas and film the commercial and be part of any of the marketing we have,” Dana White said to SportsCenter. “He is in Iceland training right now and its not possible.”
In the past, Dana White pulled Nick Diaz out of UFC 137 for failing to show up to a press conference in his title bout with Georges St. Pierre. McGregor was slated to go on another world tour, like the one he did with Jose Aldo leading up to UFC 189, but “Mystic Mac” wanted to stay put in Iceland to train in preparation for his rematch. White, however, was not so enthusiastic with the Irishman’s approach.
“Guys didn’t want to do press conference,” White went on to say. “You have to do the press conference so Conor put out that tweet.”
There have been reports in the past that there might be a power struggle between the UFC and Conor McGregor. McGregor’s quick rise to stardom has had many fans and pundits question who is really in control since the Dublin native has single-handedly broken numerous gate records and has had multiple one million-plus pay-per-view events.
McGregor has stated in multiple interviews and social media posts that he is the company. With the move that Dana White made to pull McGregor, it reassures fans that the UFC executive are in full control of their company and not obliged to play favorites to a single fighter.
Many fans in the MMA community in the past have said that Dana White likes to play favorites with Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor because of the revenue and attention that they have brought to the UFC. McGregor was even more of a superstar breaking gate records at UFC 189 and subsequently at UFC 194. His bout with Nate Diaz at UFC 196 is said to have had roughly 1.5 million pay-per-view buys too, which is the 2nd most in UFC history.
White simply made a protocol move by pulling McGregor out of UFC 200. No fighter should be able to get out of media appearances without any consequences. It is not only standard in the UFC but standard in every other major sport to give media obligations. At the end of the day, UFC fighters are employees of Zuffa and work for the company. Conor McGregor is an employee and Dana White/Fertitta brothers are the employers.
White was firm in his decision to remove McGregor out of UFC 200 when he gave interviews on “SportsCenter” and “The Herd”.
“He (McGreogr) said, ‘I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to come (Las Vegas)’,” White said to Colin Cowherd. “I basically said you have to come.”
That is what a promoter and ultimately company president should be like. If fans were still thinking if Dana White is playing favorites or “cuddling” to McGregor, they should stop right there. White removed his superstar from the most hyped-up and historic UFC card yet to date.
The buck stops with Dana White and ultimately, in an unprecedented move, no fighter is going to have the final say over the UFC brass.
* Conor McGregor Tells His Full Side Of The Story
* Dana White Tells His Full Side Of The Story
* Dana White Assures The MMA World That He Is In Charge (Editorial)
* Does Conor McGregor Have A Point? (Editorial)