Following Conor McGregor’s retirement announcement, the UFC comes forward, revealing that they had pulled him from the UFC 200 card before he made the decision.
In an interview with ESPN, UFC president Dana White revealed that the MMA star refused to promote his upcoming fight, via mandatory marketing obligations, so the company pulled him from the event.
“What’s happening is: we’ve pulled Conor McGregor from UFC 200. We’re working on other fights right now,” he said. “Conor did not wanna 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.”
Later, White acknowledged McGregor’s retirement announcement, but isn’t sure if he’s serious or not.
“We’ve had other instances like this where guys didn’t wanna do the press conference. You have to. You have to do the press conference,” he said. “So, Conor put out that tweet. Is Conor McGregor retiring? Only he can answer that question. I don’t know. But, he’s not fighting at UFC 200.”
When asked why he didn’t want to show up for promotional appearances for UFC 200, White said he simply didn’t want to… but makes it clear, that’s not an option.
“He didn’t want to. He’s in Iceland training. He felt that leaving now would hurt his training in getting ready for this fight. But, every other fighter on this card is coming,” he said. “I get accused of cottling Conor all the time, but at the end of the day, I respect Conor. Conor’s a guy who’s stepped up and taken fights on short notices. And, literally, saved the show at times. But, it doesn’t make you exempt from showing up for the press conference and all the pre-promotion stuff that we have to do. We spend a lot of money on this stuff, and you have to do it, it’s mandatory.”
Despite the disagreement, White believes the UFC and Conor are on good terms. “As far as I’m concerned, we still have a good relationship with Conor.”
McGregor was scheduled to fight Nate Diaz in a rematch at UFC 200 on July 9, just months after he with ESPN at UFC 196 via submission.
It’s currently unclear who will take McGregor’s place on the card.