According to UFC President Dana White, “The Notorious” Conor McGregor could still compete at the landmark UFC 200 event in July if he wants.
After making the announcement that McGregor had been pulled from the UFC 200 main event, where he was scheduled to fight Nate Diaz in a 170-pound rematch of their first meeting at UFC 196, White made additional media rounds where he elaborated on what went down earlier this week.
“So, Conor basically said that he, he didn’t want to come to Las Vegas,” White told Cowherd. “We had a tour planned. We were going to start in Vegas. We were going to then go to Stockton, and then New York. And then he could go back to, you know, to Iceland, where he is right now.
“And he said, ‘I don’t want to do it. I’m not going to come.’ And I was basically saying, ‘You have to come.’ In the history of us owning the UFC, there’s been one time that a guy hasn’t shown up for his press conference, and it was [Nick] Diaz vs. [longtime UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre] GSP [ahead of UFC 137]. I pulled [Nick] Diaz from the fight. You can’t not show up to promote your fight.”
White continued, explaining that despite the outcome, the talks between the UFC and McGregor’s camp “never turned foul.”
It never got combative, and I was talking to his manager,” White said. “They were asking to move all this stuff to May, and you can’t move this. This stuff is in motion. All fans care about is the fights, and that’s all they should care about. Any fan of the UFC [knows] that this happened once before when I pulled Nick Diaz from the fight.
“Everyone likes to talk about how I coddle Conor, and I baby Conor, and Conor can do whatever he wants and all this stuff. No, no you can’t. We do give Conor a lot of leeway because Conor delivers. He wasn’t planning on delivering this weekend and I had to pull him. That’s what had to be done.”
According to White, the relationship between the UFC and McGregor hasn’t been damaged at all, despite the series of events that transpired this week.
“Our relationship isn’t damaged at all,” White said. “…I’m not even mad a little bit. I had pretty smooth day…. When Conor went out, 10 other people called asking to go in. It’s going to be a massive event. It’s still a big fight. No, I’m not mad at all.”
When asked if he thinks McGregor will ever fight again, as he claimed he was “retiring young” in a tweet posted on Tuesday afternoon, White simply responded, “I do.” He then pointed out the fact that if he wanted to, McGregor could still compete at UFC 200.
“Yeah, if he called me after this interview, we would probably still do it,” White said. “The problem with this whole thing is you have to be here to promote your fight and you have to shoot this commercial. We’re spending $10 million in promotion for UFC 200, and all that money is motion. You can’t do this. I don’t care who you are, or how big you are, you can’t do this.”
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