27 year old multimillionaire Conor McGregor played a digital game of chicken with the billionaire owners of the UFC over media duties at UFC 200, and it did not go his way. For that matter it did not go the UFC’s way either, or the fan’s.
The UFC wanted McGregor to do a three-city media tour 12 weeks out from the fight. The fighter had cited media duties as a factor in his loss to Nate Diaz. That argument is not compelling given that Diaz had 11 days to prepare for the fight. At the same time, Media duties on the West coast of the USA represent a significant disruption of a camp in Europe, on Conor needs to be perfect to remain the Conor McGregor that is talked about as the Muhammad Ali of MMA.
McGregor refused, and the UFC pulled him from the card. UFC president Dana White noted that it is only a single show that McGregor was removed from.
“Listen, Conor’s going to fight again,” said White. “He’s going to fight at UFC 201, 202, 203 – whatever the deal might be.”
“We’ll see … what’s next when that plays out.”
There are hints that McGregor’s next fight might be a return to featherweight, vs. the winner of UFC 200’s interim title fight between Frankie Edgar and former division champion Jose Aldo.
In his latest social network communication, McGregor was not impressed
If McGregor wants Diaz or bust, this could of course set up another confrontation with the UFC. Given how difficult a time McGregor has had with making 145, and that his last fight was at 170, and the aborted fight was also at 170, there is a genuine question as to whether McGregor can return to featherweight at all.