Monday 27 January 2020

Conor McGregor says he has not retired and still wants UFC 200 to happen

Conor McGregor says he has not retired - contrary to his own words earlier in the week - and still wants UFC 200 to happen.

The Irishman Tweeted on Tuesday night to say he had decided to "retire young", with UFC boss Dana White then confirming he had been pulled from his July 9 rematch with Nate Diaz.

White said McGregor had been unwilling to promote the second instalment of his duel with Diaz - he lost his first UFC bout against the American in March - and that UFC would now be looking for a new headline fight.

However, in a lengthy statement issued on Thursday, McGregor said that he remains willing to face Diaz in Las Vegas but will not be going on a promotional tour.

Writing on Facebook, the 27-year-old said: "I am just trying to do my job and fight here. I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote.

"I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting.

"There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop.

"Fifty world tours, 200 press conferences, 1 million interviews, 2 million photo shoots, and at the end of it all I'm left looking down the barrel of a lens, staring defeat in the face, thinking of nothing but my incorrect fight preparation.

"And the many distractions that led to this. Nothing else was going through my mind."

Saying that he was preparing for "revenge" against Diaz after his shock loss, he added he wanted to "finish what I started in that last fight".

There has been no comment yet from UFC as to whether or not McGregor will be back on the July 9 card, but the man himself is certainly planning to be there.

"I must isolate myself now," he said, before hinting that promotional duties cost him last time out.

"I am facing a taller, longer and heavier man. I need to prepare correctly this time. I can not dance for you this time.

"It is time for the other monkeys to dance. I've danced us all the way here. I feel the $400million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway.

"I am still ready to go for UFC 200. I AM NOT RETIRED."

Speaking on UFC Tonight on Wednesday, White had said McGregor was a guy who "deserves leeway".

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