Conor McGregor pulled from UFC 200 amid retirement talk

Dana White says featherweight unwilling to travel to Las Vegas to promote show

UFC President Dana White highlights the reasons why Irish MMA star Conor McGregor was pulled from UFC200. Video: ESPN/SportsCenter

 

Featherweight champion Conor McGregor has been pulled from the bill of UFC 200 in July as speculation continues to mount about the Irish star’s future in MMA’s most lucrative promotion.

A dramatic night that earlier saw McGregor – presently in Iceland preparing for the July 9th rematch with Nate Diaz in Las Vegas – hint at his retirement, ended with UFC supremo Dana White confirming that McGregor will not fight on the card due to what he said was the Dubliner’s unwillingness to travel to America to promote the show .

Speaking on ESPN’s SportsCenter show, White said: “Conor didn’t want to come to Las Vegas and be part of any promotional training. He’s in Iceland training.

“He felt leaving right now would hurt his training. But every other fighter on the card is coming.

“It doesn’t make you exempt. We spend a lot of money on this stuff.”

Earlier, McGregor tweeted: “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later.”

Shortly after McGregor’s tweet was sent, the fighter’s long-time coach John Kavanagh added his own thoughts on Twitter: “Well was fun while it lasted”.

White refused to read too much into McGregor’s tweet, saying: “Is Conor McGregor retiring? Only he can answer that question. I don’t know. But he will not be a part of UFC 200.”

Following White’s appearance on TV, a short statement was released by UFC. It read: “UFC President Dana White announced Tuesday that UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor has been pulled from his UFC 200 main event against Nate Diaz on July 9.

“White revealed that the decision was made by the promotion after McGregor informed UFC officials that he would not participate in any promotional activities, including a commercial shoot and press conferences.

“The UFC is currently working on a new main event for the card, which will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Other bouts currently set for the event include two title fights, with Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar battling for the interim featherweight title, and Miesha Tate defending her UFC women’s bantamweight crown against Amanda Nunes.”

McGregor’s tweet was posted one week after after the death of Joao Carvalho from injuries suffered during a Total Extreme Fighting card earlier this month where McGregor watched from ringside.

The Irishman called Carvalho’s death “truly heartbreaking” on Facebook, adding that the Portuguese was “a hell of a fighter”.

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