Conor McGregor axed from UFC 200 for 'not taking part in media activities'
UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor will not be a part of the biggest night in the promotion's history after being dramatically pulled from UFC 200.
The 27-year-old sent the world of MMA into a spin with a tweet suggesting that he has called time on his fighting career. A tweet which was backed up by his coach John Kavanagh.
I have decided to retire young.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya's later.
Well was fun while it lasted— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) April 19, 2016
Multiple sources are adamant at this time that McGregor's tweet isn't a joke, troll job or hoax of any kind. Reason(s) behind it is unclear.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 19, 2016
McGregor is currently in a training camp in Iceland.
The UFC has since announced that the Crumlin fighter will not now face Nate Diaz on July 9.
The American choked out McGregor at UFC 196 to hand the Dubliner his first UFC defeat.
In a statement the UFC claimed that McGregor was pulled from the bout for refusing to take part in pre-fight media activities.
“Is Conor McGregor retiring? Only he can answer that question. I don’t know,” UFC president Dana White said. “But Conor McGregor is not fighting at UFC 200.
"He’s in Iceland training and he felt leaving right now would hurt his training and getting ready for this fight. But every other fighter on the card was coming. I get accused of coddling Conor all the time, but at the end of the day I respect Conor.
"But it doesn’t make you exempt for showing up for the press conferences and all the promotional stuff that we have to do. We spend a lot of money with this stuff, and you have to do it, man.
“Obviously we still have a good relationship with Conor. I respect Conor as a fighter and I like him as a person. But you can’t decide to not show up for this things. You have to do them.”
White's version of events would appear to be backed up by an McGregor gave an Icelandic journalist who questioned him after the retirement tweet was sent.
McGregor was approached by Icelandic media outlet MMA Frettir but was not pleased with being questioned.
He is being quoted as saying: "No, I'm retired, f**k interviews."
What this whole episode means for the career of the biggest name in UFC, only time will tell.
Independent News Service