Hours after featherweight champion Conor McGregor claimed on Twitter that he was “going to retire young”, UFC president Dana White revealed to ESPN’s Sportcenter what appears to have been the catalyst for his shock decision – a falling out with the promotion over his promotional obligations for UFC 200.
“Is Conor McGregor retiring? Only he can answer that question. I don’t know,” White said. “But Conor McGregor is not fighting at UFC 200.”
White then went on to explain that they took the decision to pull him from the card after McGregor refused to attend a pre-fight press conference in Las Vegas and other promotional commitments for the massive event in July.
“He’s in Iceland training and he felt leaving right now would hurt his training and getting ready for this fight,” White said. “But every other fighter on the card was coming. I get accused of coddling Conor all the time, but at the end of the day I respect Conor … 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 to not show up for this things. You have to do them.”
MMA reporter Jonathan Shrager has also since reported that according to sources close to McGregor he decided not to attend as, “the promo tour was unrealistic; not just the presser, it was more like a mini world tour.”
The UFC are currently believed to now be working on new match-ups for UFC 200, so stay tuned to mmainsight.com for all the latest updates as this situation continues to unfold.