McGregor describes UFC 200 pullout as ‘publicized civil war’
MANILA, Philippines – Conor McGregor has a tinge of regret over his decision to withdraw from his welterweight rematch against Nate Diaz in the main event of UFC 200 on July 9 after he refused to fulfill media and promotional obligations.
The 27-year-old Irishman McGregor described his shocking pullout as a “publicized civil war” which manifested in his announcement of a short-lived retirement.
“It was a publicized civil war. I was going through some things. There was some crazy stuff going on back home. And I wanted to be focused on my training,” McGregor said in an interview with ESPN.
The post generated 170,000 re-tweets, prompting UFC officials to scratch off McGregor from the aforementioned pay-per-view card.
McGregor later clarified that he was not retiring from mixed martial arts and demanded for a lighter schedule to promote his second encounter with Diaz.
The UFC featherweight titleholder blamed the busy media obligations for contributing to his disappointing defeat to Diaz, who scored a second-round submission victory over McGregor this past March.
“I was at a time where I was figuring out something,” McGregor shared. “I didn’t just shut it out and say no to everything. I just wanted to do reasonable media, and then all of a sudden, ‘Conor, it’s 3 months from the fight, we’ve got to drag you on 40-hour flights to come and do a runaround, New York, Vegas, California, 70 press conferences, 70 talk shows, adverts, all of this,’ and it’s like, ‘I already made you $400 million last week. That was only last week. I need to get right.’”
McGregor had the chance to sit down and talk to company president Dana White and UFC chief executive officer Lorenzo Fertitta in Los Angeles, California nearly a week ago, with both parties going home with smiles on their faces.
The 5-foot-8 native of Dublin, Ireland revealed that he and his UFC bosses were able to reconcile their differences.
“I met with Dana and Mr. Fertitta. Good conversation like it always is. We have a good relationship,” he stated. “It is what it is. It happens. This is the fight game. Sometimes emotions get into it. But it’s important to recognize that emotions have no place in business. That’s essentially what it was last night. We’ve just set it aside.”
“There’s no place for emotions in this. We’re doing beautiful things, so let’s continue. Let’s fix it and continue,” McGregor added.
McGregor wished that he should have cooperated with the UFC when he watched the UFC 200 press conference online.
“There were times where seeing the press conferences take place I was like, ‘I should have just jumped on the damn flight. I should have stuck it out and went with it.’ But sometimes you’ve got to do what’s right for you and not what’s right for everybody else. Especially if you’ve done what’s right for everybody else a million times over. You should have the right to do what’s right for you for once,” he stressed. – Rappler.com