Saturday 1 October 2016

Conor McGregor fans to be left seriously out of pocket after he's pulled from UFC 200

Published 20/04/2016 | 08:15

Irish UFC fans have followed Conor McGregor's career at great expense
Irish UFC fans have followed Conor McGregor's career at great expense

Irish MMA fans are waking this morning to the news that Conor McGregor will not be taking part in UFC 200 and some are going to be severely hit financially.

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Up to 8,000 Irish fans had been expected to descend on Las Vegas for what has been described as the biggest event in the history of the promotion.

News that Conor McGregor has been pulled from his rematch with Nate Diaz on July 9 for failing to complete pre-fight media duties will be hugely frustrating to thousands of fans who have already turfed out money to cheer on their hero.

The best deals for just flights and accommodation in Vegas started from around €600 and that does not factor in ticket prices for the bout.

The writing was on the wall for supporters of The Notorious last night when he tweeted that he was retiring young.

He wrote: "I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya's later."

His 'retirement' appeared to have been backed up by his coach and head of SBG Ireland John Kavanagh who also took to the social media site to say: "Well was fun while it lasted."

UFC president Dana White revealed last night that McGregor was being pulled from 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.”

It is the third time in four fights that McGregor's bouts have been subject to change but the first time that one of his events has been cancelled.

Last July, Chad Mendes replaced Jose Aldo, who cried out of his featherweight title fight with McGregor with a rib injury, at UFC 189 and was KO-ed by the Irishman.

McGregor did fight Aldo in December and knocked him out after 13 seconds to take the Brazilians featherweight crown.

The Dubliner had aimed to become the first dual-weight champion in the promotion by defeating Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 196 but that fight didn't happen after the lightweight champ broke his foot in training.

Diaz stepped in and took on McGregor at welterweight and the American choked out McGregor in the second round to hand him his first defeat.

Against the advice of White and Kavanagh, McGregor decided that he wanted to gain revenge on Diaz under the same terms at UFC 200 rather than defend his featherweight crown, but that will not now happen.

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