Dana White Says ‘The Notorious’ Could Still Fight At UFC 200
Dana White has left the door slightly ajar for Conor McGregor to fight at UFC 200.
Speaking with Colin Cowherd on Wednesday’s edition of The Herd on Fox Sports 1, White explained the reason that McGregor was pulled from the July 9 fight card.
“So, Conor basically said that he, he didn’t want to come to Las Vegas, ” White told Cowherd. “We had a tour planned. We were going to start in Vegas. We were going to then go to Stockton, and then New York. And then he could go back to, you know, to Iceland, where he is right now.
“And he said, ‘I don’t want to do it. I’m not going to come.’ And I was basically saying, ‘You have to come.’ In the history of us owning the UFC, there’s been one time that a guy hasn’t shown up for his press conference, and it was [Nick] Diaz vs. GSP [Georges St-Pierre]. I pulled Diaz from the fight. You can’t not show up to promote your fight.”
Despite the situation, White insisted that the conversation with McGregor’s team never turned combative and he was just treating McGregor the way he would any other fighter that refused to show up for pre-fight promotions.
“It never got combative, and I was talking to his manager, ” White said. “They were asking to move all this stuff to May, and you can’t move this. This stuff is in motion. All fans care about is the fights, and that’s all they should care about. Any fan of the UFC [knows] that this happened once before when I pulled Nick Diaz from the fight.
“Everyone likes to talk about how I coddle Conor, and I baby Conor, and Conor can do whatever he wants and all this stuff. No, no you can’t. We do give Conor a lot of leeway because Conor delivers. He wasn’t planning on delivering this weekend and I had to pull him. That’s what had to be done.”
White also crushed rumours that The Notorious was unhappy with the money being offered for his rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 200.
“[It’s] not a money issue. That’s false, ” White said. “That’s the problem with the Internet. You have all these hacks out there who just make stuff up for clicks. Never, ever was this about money. It was never about money. Conor makes a lot of money, and Conor’s very happy about the money he makes. Conor, for the most part, is a stand-up guy. He’s never come back after agreeing on a deal, and the fight is announced, and he comes back for more money. Conor is not that type of person.”
He also insisted that the relationship between McGregor and the UFC wasn’t damaged, stating that there had been a tonne of interest from rival fighters who were keen to take his place.
“Our relationship isn’t damaged at all, ” White said. “…I’m not even mad a little bit. I had pretty smooth day…. When Conor went out, 10 other people called asking to go in. It’s going to be a massive event. It’s still a big fight. No, I’m not mad at all.”
He even left the door slightly ajar for McGregor to still fight at UFC 200 if he moved quickly.
“Yeah, if he called me after this interview, we would probably still do it, ” White said. “The problem with this whole thing is you have to be here to promote your fight and you have to shoot this commercial. We’re spending $10 million in promotion for UFC 200, and all that money is motion. You can’t do this. I don’t care who you are, or how big you are, you can’t do this.”