UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor (pictured) may have burned a bridge with his bosses when he refused to promote UFC 200, which resulted in McGregor getting pulled from the show’s main event against Nate Diaz, but bridges can be repaired whenever tens of millions of dollars are at stake.
McGregor, UFC president Dana White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta broke bread Wednesday night in Los Angeles to repair their fractured relationship. While White has remained mum on their dinner conversation, outside of a selfie on the UFC’s private jet that he captioned with his infamous smiley face emoji, McGregor opened up to ESPN Thursday about their discussion.
“I met with Dana and Mr. Fertitta, good conversation like it always is,” McGregor stated. “We have a good relationship. 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.
“So that’s essentially what it was last night. We just set it aside. There’s no place for emotions in this. We are doing beautiful things, so let’s continue. Let’s fix it and continue.”
McGregor didn’t mention if apologies were exchanged following April’s public pissing contest, but he said they’re “in a good place” now.
That certainly wasn’t the case last month when McGregor refused to hop the UFC’s private jet to fly from Iceland to Las Vegas for a UFC 200 pre-fight press conference. The UFC’s biggest cash cow claimed he was done “handing out fliers” after helping the UFC generate $400 million over his past three bouts.
The UFC called McGregor on his bluff so he subsequently “retired,” only to un-retire two days later. White pulled McGregor from the historic card and slid the light heavyweight title unification bout between champion Daniel Cormier and interim champ Jon Jones into UFC 200’s top spot.
McGregor continued to taunt his bosses on social media by suggesting they needed him more than he needed them with tweets like, “I’ve got my bills paid. My money made. And the entire game slayed. #YourMove.”
ESPN.com previously reported that the UFC lost $40 million dollars by yanking McGregor from UFC 200.
But, that all appears to be water under the repaired bridge now.
White revealed Wednesday that they were meeting with McGregor to discuss his next fight, which is believed to be an immediate welterweight rematch against Diaz. With UFC 200 off the table and UFC 201 securing a featured bout with welterweight champ Robbie Lawler and Tyron Woodley, the most logical landing spot for McGregor vs. Diaz II is UFC 202 in August.
Diaz shocked the MMA world in March when he submitted McGregor at UFC 196 despite accepting the bout on just 11 days’ notice.
The rest of McGregor’s interview with ESPN will air this Sunday on SportsCenter.