Shortly after UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor (pictured) abruptly announced his retirement from mixed martial arts at the age of 27, UFC president Dana White said they have pulled McGregor from his UFC 200 rematch with Nate Diaz.
The UFC is currently scouring its roster to secure a new main event for the monumental show.
White provided a little bit of clarity regarding McGregor’s unexpected “retirement.” White said they were forced to “pull” their cash cow from the card because he is currently in Iceland training and didn’t want to fly to Las Vegas in order to participate in pre-fight promotional activities.
“We pulled Conor McGregor from UFC 200, and we’re working on other fights right now,” White said on Tuesday’s edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter. “Conor didn’t want to come to Las Vegas and film the commercial or be a part of the marketing that we have. He’s in Iceland training, and it’s not possible. This has only happened one other time in UFC history, when Nick Diaz didn’t show up for the press conference with his fight with Georges St-Pierre, and I pulled Nick Diaz from the fight.
“We’ve had other instances like this where fighters didn’t want to do the press conferences. You have to. You have to do the press conference. So Conor put out that tweet. Is Conor McGregor retiring? Only he can answer that question. I don’t know, but he’s not fighting at UFC 200.”
White reiterated multiple times that he has a good relationship with McGregor, but given that arguably White’s biggest superstar forced his hand this badly for such a historic event makes you wonder. There were already grumblings that there was trouble in paradise between the two prior to McGregor getting upset by Diaz at UFC 196.
White said Diaz is flying into Vegas tonight to discuss other opponents. White didn’t specify if that new nemesis would be Diaz’s opponent at UFC 200 or on a different card.
UFC 200 goes down inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Please click the media player below to watch White’s interview on SportsCenter:
Here is the card’s revised lineup:
Takanori Gomi vs. Jim Miller
Cat Zingano vs. Julianna Pena
Sage Northcutt vs. Enrique Marin
Joe Lauzon vs. Diego Sanchez
Johny Hendricks vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Gegard Mousasi vs. Derek Brunson
Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne
Amanda Nunes vs. Miesha Tate (UFC bantamweight champion)
Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar (For UFC interim featherweight title)