Thursday 19 July 2018

McGregor to lose out on €9m as UFC stands by fight cancellation

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor submits to a choke-hold by Nate Diaz at UFC 196 in Las Vegas last month. Photo: Getty Images

Robin Schiller

UFC fighter Conor McGregor is set to lose out on a potential €9m fight windfall - despite announcing he was not retiring from mixed martial arts (MMA).

It was last night being reported that UFC officials were refusing to back down to McGregor's demands, despite his willingness to compete at UFC 200 this July.

McGregor caused consternation among UFC fans this week when he posted a cryptic tweet saying he planned on "retiring young".

This was quickly followed by a statement from UFC president Dana White saying he would not be competing at the upcoming UFC 200 event.

Last night, the Dublin native explained why he sent the tweet and said his non-stop media obligations had distracted him in the run-up to his defeat by Nate Diaz.

McGregor said he didn't want to do promotional work and needed to "isolate" himself at his Iceland training camp ahead of his rematch with Diaz in June.

"I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote," he said. "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."

However, McGregor came under fire on Twitter for a throwaway line about the media, claiming a female reporter interviewed him just to "get her little tight ass a nice raise". One Twitter user described it as "a thoughtless swipe at the credibility of women in sports media".

The fighter also said he was willing to compete at the event in Las Vegas if his PR obligations were reduced.

"There had been $10m allocated for the promotion of this event . . . I not only saved that $10 million, I then went and tripled it for them," McGregor claimed.

"I will offer, like I already did, to fly to New York for the big press conference that was scheduled, and then I will go back into training. With no distractions.

"For the record also. For [anti-doping agency] USADA and for the UFC and my contract stipulations ."I AM NOT RETIRED," he added.

The UFC's decision to cancel McGregor's fight with Diaz means that he stands to lose about €9 million.

The fighter's coach, John Kavanagh, has expressed his sympathy to the 8,000 Irish fans who were expected to travel to Las Vegas for the now-cancelled fight in July.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport