UFC President Dana White officially cancelled the supposed rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz scheduled for UFC 200.
In an unexpected twist of fate, White pulled McGregor out of the fight and called him off for ditching promotional functions.
“Anybody who has fought for the UFC over the last 16 years knows that we try to give as much leeway as we can,” said White at a news conference in Las Vegas. “But you have to show up to promote the fight. You have to show up to press conferences and shoot the commercials. It’s part of the job. It’s what we do here.”
The 46-year-old promoter was referring to the Irish Man’s refusal to attend promo junkets for the aforementioned fight. This was followed by a sudden retirement announcement, which he later retracted.
Over the course of McGregor’s spurt into fame which was further sped up by his 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo in UFC 194, the MMA league had been accused of being biased in favor of the fighter. However, White and UFC stuck with McGregor even with his shocking loss to Nate Diaz last month.
“We get criticised a lot for bending too much to Conor – and we do. I respect Conor very much as a fighter and I like him, but you have to show up and do this stuff,” White revealed.
McGregor, for his part, wanted to solely concentrate on training for his supposed rematch with Diaz scheduled in July. On his statement elaborating his decision to retire and unretire, he explained that what he brought to the table was more than enough in terms of promo activities.
“I asked for some leeway where I can just train and focus. I did not shut down all media requests. I simply wanted a slight adjustment. But it was denied. There had been 10 million dollars allocated for the promotion of this event is what they told me,” McGregor wrote. The 27-year-old mixed martial artist also detailed how he was trying to get in shape for the now canceled fight revealing that he even flew his entire team to Portugal and Iceland in preparation for UFC 200.
“So as a gesture of good will, I went and not only saved that 10 million dollars in promotion money, I then went and tripled it for them. And all with one tweet. Keep that 10 mill to promote the other bums that need it. My shows are good,” he continued.
Diaz, on the other hand, who was left without an oppponent, revealed that he has no intention of fighting anyone else other than McGregor.
McGregor-Diaz 2 was confirmed shortly after the two’s highly dramatic square off in UFC 196. While Diaz won the fight via an impressive choke, McGregor continued to be the favorite getting into their rematch.