Dana White has confirmed Conor McGregor is no longer on the card for UFC 200, and Nate Diaz is seeking a new opponent.
Yesterday the Dubliner sent social media into meltdown after tweeting he was ‘retiring young’, prompting the entire MMA world to ask what was going on behind the scenes.
Speaking to ESPN, UFC president White revealed McGregor refused to fly from Iceland to Las Vegas to undertake his promotional duties.
We pulled Conor McGregor from UFC 200, and we are working on other fights right now.
Conor did not want to come to Las Vegas and film the commercial or be a part of any of the marketing that we have. He’s in Iceland training and it is not possible…Is Conor McGregor retiring? Only he can answer that question, I don’t know but he is not fighting at UFC 200.
I get accused of coddling Conor all the time, but at the end of the day I respect Conor. Conor’s a guy who has stepped up and taken fights on short notices, and literally saved the show at times.
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 not to show up to these things. You have to do it.
I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya's later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
As reported by MMA Fighting, the UFC has only had to make such a move on one previous occasion, when Nick Diaz didn’t show up to a pre-fight press conference for his UFC 137 bout with Georges St-Pierre in 2011.
Although McGregor has yet to clarify his position, it would not be the first time he has spoken about ‘walking away’ early.
Speaking to SevereMMA ahead of his scheduled fight with Rafael dos Anjos -who was later replaced by Nate Diaz- he said:
I’m here to fight, I’m here to win every belt and then I’m gone and then I’ll see the game later, I’ll walk away from this game, I’ll set it ablaze and walk away. And that’s it.
Only time will tell if we see McGregor inside the Octagon again, but it certainly won’t be at the MGM Grand on July 9.
An NCTJ Journalist with an MA in Sports Journalism, Kieron is an experienced social media journalist who has worked in the industry since 2015. His experience includes work with ITN, the MEN, WISH/WIRE/TOWER FM, and 8:50 Sports Digest… not forgetting his time at ASDA.