As of Tuesday evening, if you went to Conor McGregor’s Twitter page, this is what the top post would be …
… which is funny, because according to Dana White, UFC 200 is the one card on which you won’t find the Irish superstar. White reiterated his stance Monday, telling TMZ Sports that McGregor “is not fighting on 200.”
“Listen, he’ll fight on 201, 202, 203, whatever, I don’t know when, but we’ll get it figured out,” White added. He took McGregor off the card for the July mega-event after the featherweight champion, set for a much-anticipated rematch with Nate Diaz, refused to break training in Iceland in order to do a round of scheduled promotional appearances in the U.S.
McGregor even went so far as to post on Twitter that he had “decided to retire,” sending the world of MMA into a frenzy of speculation. However, he subsequently insisted that he was not retired and that he wanted to fight at UFC 200, all this before Monday’s tweet indicating that he would, in fact, return to his original spot on the card.
“I don’t know why he did [tweet that], I still haven’t talked to him, but we had a whole press conference about this,” White told TMZ. “I just don’t know how much more clear I can make it.”
White claimed that he had “no hard feelings” toward McGregor, despite the high-profile stare-down. “I’ve said it a million times — Conor has stepped up and saved big fights for us,” the UFC president said.
As if all that wasn’t enough, White now may not have Diaz’s involvement in UFC 200, either. In this case, it would be the fighter’s decision to sit out the event, as Diaz has indicated that he either wanted to face McGregor or no one at all.
In a separate interview with TMZ Sports, White said that he had a “long list” of possible opponents for Diaz, if the latter stays on the card. “Nate stands to make a lot of money in 200, I’d like to keep him in 200, but that’s up to him,” White said.
In the meantime, without McGregor, White doesn’t have a headlining match for an event that his company wants to make the biggest in its history. As things play out, though, UFC 200 may not even be the most-watched MMA event of the summer. That honor could go to UFC 201 — if that winds up when McGregor returns to the Octagon.