LAS VEGAS — Earlier this month, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor downplayed the idea that he would be out of action for most of 2017, telling Irish outlet RTE that he simply wanted a holiday break and would see where things land once the calendar turned. But all of that was news to UFC president Dana White.
“The last conversation that Conor and I had, he was taking 10 months off,” White said on Wednesday. “So everybody keeps talking. I’m not even thinking about Conor. Conor is not in my plans for the next 10 months.
“We run a business where we make fights. I know who’s available, I know who’s not available. Right? Conor told me, ‘I’m not available for 10 months. We’re having a baby. My girl stresses out when I fight and I don’t want to put that on her while she’s pregnant.’ I love it, I respect it, I get it. Do your thing, buddy. And that’s it. He’s not in any of our plans for the next 10 months.”
McGregor, the UFC’s biggest financial draw, stated in the aftermath of his title win at UFC 205 that he hoped to take a break due to the expected birth of his first child in early 2017.
The comments led White to tell media that he expected McGregor to be sidelined for the majority of the UFC’s 2017 campaign. However, McGregor refuted that notion in his interview with RTE, while also reiterating past statements that he desired a meeting with the new UFC ownership at WME-IMG before committing to anything for his next fight.
“As far as a break, I don’t know,” McGregor said. “I know Dana has been on record, being like, ’10 months — he’s taking 10 months off.’ Where did you [get] 10 months?
“I just don’t know, I’m weighing up my options. But again, I expect that conversation. I expect them to fly that jet to me. Ari (Emanuel), Patrick (Whitesell), the new owners from WME-IMG, the guys that bought the UFC for $4 billion, I want to speak to them. I want to see what their plan is. Because right now I don’t know what nobody’s plan is.”
McGregor, 28, has had two of the most historic back-to-back years in UFC history, breaking several financial records, becoming the promotion’s first simultaneous two-division champion, and potentially headlining four of the top-five highest-selling UFC pay-per-views of all-time. Though when asked about the status of McGregor’s demands to meet with the new UFC brass, White’s response was brief.
“When Conor’s ready to talk, he knows where I am,” White said.
Source:: mma fighting