Face to face
Conor McGregor’s abrupt retirement from MMA one week ago wasn’t taken seriously by many. At the time, Dana White acted as if he bought it, but even that was hard to believe. In an interview with Channel 8 in Las Vegas, White was a little more forthcoming with his true thoughts on McGregor’s retirement and what may have inspired it.
“I think that there’s some things that Conor wants and I think that Conor wants to get together face to face, he and I, and we probably will in the next couple of weeks and we’ll get this thing figured out,” White said (transcribed by MMAFighting).
About a week before the retirement tweet, McGregor was recorded in Chicago telling people at a Proper Whiskey promotional event that he wants and deserves ownership stake in the UFC. According to White, that’s something that isn’t going to happen and that none of the top athletes in sports history have been handed such a privilege.
“He’s stuck on this thing where he wants a piece of the ownership and that’s just — if you look at basketball, Michael Jordan didn’t own a piece of the league, and the list goes on and on,” White said. “Is Conor very valuable to the sport and to the brand, the UFC? Of course he is. That’s a tough one, but I think there’s other ways that we can make him happy.”
With White having moved on from wishing McGregor well in his retirement to planning to meet with him in the next couple of weeks, it’s starting to look like this retirement may not stick.
Banned for life
UFC heavyweight Ruslan Magomedov has been banned for life by USADA after his third infraction. Magomedov was handed a two-year ban after his first offense in 2016, he then failed another test this past October before refusing to be tested in February of this year, completing the trifecta and securing the lifetime ban. Magomedov has not fought since an October 2015 win over Shawn Jordan. He holds a 14-1 record and has wins over Ricco Rodriguez and Tim Sylvia. The ban essentially kills any chance of a UFC future for Magomedov and likely any hopes to fight in the U.S. The ban is unlikely to affect his ability to fight overseas. USADA’s full statement on Magomedov can be read here.
–Scott Coker announced today that Bellator has signed Josh Barnett. Barnett left UFC last year after a lengthy battle over a December 2016 drug test failure that was later determined to be due to a tainted supplement.
-Edson Barboza and his wife welcomed their second child on Sunday.
-Nick Hein vs. Luigi Vendramini has been added to UFC Stockholm on June 1.
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