Dana White: Conor McGregor’s UFC 200 removal solely due to refusal to show up for media events, not money demands

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Dana White (photo credit Gary Vazquez © USA Today Sports)

Dana White says Conor McGregor’s removal from UFC 200 had nothing to do with money demands, and was solely due to McGregor’s refusal to show up this week for media obligations.

In an interview with Colin Cowherd on Fox Sports 1, White said they had put together a series of media events in Las Vegas, Stockton, and New York, and had plans to shoot commercials for UFC 200 with Diaz and McGregor; because McGregor refused to show up, White argues, they had to pull him. According to White, McGregor’s team asked to push the media events to May, but the events were “already in motion.”

White claims there was no hold up for more money after McGregor had agreed to the fight, saying McGregor was “not that kind of guy,” and that there were no contentious conversations outside of the fact that McGregor opted not to fulfill his obligations. White said no fighter is exempt from promoting their fights, and they had to pull him just as they did Nick Diaz in 2011 prior to UFC 137 when Diaz skipped out on pre-fight media events.

As for McGregor saying he’s retired, White believes the Irishman will fight again for the UFC within the next year, but said he’s going to have to clarify his stance sooner rather than later, because if he’s retired Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar will be fighting for the vacated UFC Featherweight Title at UFC 200.

Penick’s Analysis: It’s not much more information than was given on Tuesday, but if that’s the case it’s a bit hard to believe on McGregor’s part. He’s done so much promotion in the past year, and went through the world tour with Jose Aldo in 2015, that him not showing up to promote a fight just seems out of character. Of course, this time around McGregor was training to beat the man who beat him, and perhaps he was trying to be adamant on training straight through in order to have a better performance. Perhaps the nonstop promotion affected him negatively at UFC 196, at least in his mind, and he was trying to avoid shaking things up. It still doesn’t entirely make sense, but we’ll have to simply wait to see what happens next, and we won’t really know until we hear further from him, if we do at all.

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