UFC president Dana White doesn’t think that featherweight champion Conor McGregor is truly retired. But if he is, White is prepared to elevate the interim 145-pound title fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 to a bout for McGregor’s vacated strap.
It’s a situation that escalated from confounding to shocking in a matter of hours on Tuesday.
McGregor initially sent out a retirement tweet, saying, “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.”
Following the tweet, all of the major players in this drama went into radio silence. McGregor’s camp wasn’t talking; the UFC wasn’t talking. Everyone was left with large question marks spinning over their heads, wondering what in the world was going on.
A few hours later, White made an appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter to announce that he was yanking McGregor out of his UFC 200 headlining rematch with Nate Diaz. He spun it off as a simple matter of disagreement between McGregor and the UFC, where McGregor refused to come out to Las Vegas and do a brief promotional tour and shoot a commercial for the UFC 200 blockbuster.
“So Conor basically had said that he didn’t want to come to Las Vegas. We had a tour planned,” White explained on The Herd on Wednesday. “We were gonna start in Las Vegas, we were gonna then go to Stockton, and then New York. And then he could go back to Iceland, where he is right now. He said, ‘I don’t wanna do it. I don’t wanna come.’ I said, ‘You have to do it.’”
McGregor refused; the UFC pulled him from the fight.
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