The questions have abounded since McGregor pulled back his retirement tweet, saying that he is not retired after all and is ready to fight at UFC 200. But White said that it’s too late, that it was unfair to the other fighters to relent and allow McGregor back in after he refused to do the required promotion of the fight.
“Everybody knows, this thing has pretty much played out in the media. We try to give as much leeway as we can on things, but you have to promote the fight. You have to show up to the press conferences and you have to shoot the commercial. Is it too much to ask?” said White.
“We gave Conor every opportunity in the world to get here. I respect Conor very much as a fighter, and I like him, but you have to show up and do this stuff.”
The question now appears to be whether or not McGregor’s opponent, Nate Diaz, will remain on the UFC 200 fight card.
White initially insisted that they would find Diaz a new opponent for UFC 200, but a moment later, Diaz insisted it was all or nothing in regard to McGregor.
“I came to fight Conor McGregor and I don’t really have too much interest in anybody else. I don’t really have any interest in fighting at all, but if that’s what we’re gonna do, let’s do it,” said Diaz.
“I’m gonna come here to fight if we’re gonna get that fight (with McGregor) going, but if not, I’m going on vacation, for real.”
White later relented, saying he thought Diaz wanted to fight at UFC 200, and didn’t want to “screw him out of it.”
“We’ll talk and we’ll figure it out,” said White. “I have a feeling it’s going to be a short conversation between me and Nate.”
While McGregor is definitively out, and Diaz says that he’d rather go on vacation if he’s not fighting the brash Irishman, the fighter from the 209 isn’t fully ruled out just yet.
There will be a conversation, but White said that without the fight being Diaz vs. McGregor 2, the UFC 200 headliner would be a title fight, although he fell short of saying what fight that would be. That probably would nudge Diaz into passing on the event, as he only wants big money fights. Currently, there are two championship fights on the card. Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar will fight for the interim featherweight title, and Miesha Tate will defend her bantamweight belt against Amanda Nunes.
White left the door open for the possibility of adding a third title fight to the card, even admitting that if Jon Jones defeats Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 for the interim 205-pound title, he could possibly find his way onto the card in a unification bout with light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 200.
McGregor on Thursday challenged the UFC to make it’s move. It looks like they did… moving away from him.