Conor McGregor’s statement on Facebook Thursday morning suggests there’s a middle ground to be reached with the UFC to keep his main event with Nate Diaz at UFC 200 intact. But that would presume a willingness on the UFC’s part to cede an inch, and according to a report from TMZ Sports, that’s not happening.
Per the report, the UFC claims they offered to fly McGregor everywhere he needed to be on the tour, and set up his gym exactly as he had it set up in Iceland. They also refused to exempt him from the obligations in Las Vegas this week, leading to the fight’s cancellation and McGregor missing out on a $10 million payday. Additionally, the report states the Diaz fight is off the table, and McGregor will have to defend his title against the Jose Aldo-Frankie Edgar winner if he fights again later this year.
McGregor said Thursday that he believed the money he’d brought the UFC in an eight month span from UFC 189 to UFC 196 bought him enough leeway to get back to training for the Diaz fight, seeing as he wanted to avenge the loss he suffered in March. If this report is accurate, he was mistaken.
Penick’s Analysis: The TMZ report goes heavy in on the UFC’s side of things, and it’s nonsense on the part of the UFC. Rather than cede even a modicum of power and say to a fighter – one who has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to them in a short time – they’d rather make an example. It’s not about a missed $10 million paycheck for McGregor, it’s about them leaving $100 million or more on the table for UFC 200 in order to make said example. They may think UFC 200 alone because of the number alone will sell, but they’ll miss out on hundred of thousands of buys if McGregor isn’t on this card. McGregor’s made himself the more sympathetic figure – at least for some, as there’s still some considerable (and again, nonsensical) fan and fighter backlash taking the UFC’s side in this, when in reality McGregor isn’t really being unreasonable here.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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