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27th Apr 2016

Dana White: “I didn’t prevent Conor from fighting at UFC 200”

The blame game

Darragh Murphy

“I haven’t spoken to Conor McGregor since the press conference last week.”

Dana White has revealed that there has been very little dialogue between the UFC and ‘The Notorious’ ever since it was confirmed that the UFC featherweight champion would play no part of this summer’s monstrous UFC 200 card.

The promotion has been heavily criticised for pulling their most popular fighter from their biggest show of the year due to the fact that the Irishman refused to be in attendance for last Friday’s press conference in Las Vegas as it would have disrupted his training camp in Iceland.

For their second presser of the media tour, the promotion landed in New York and the lack of McGregor on stage came up when fans were afforded the opportunity to UFC president some questions.

“First of all, I didn’t prevent Conor from fighting at UFC 200. I did not,” White said.

“Everybody, if you looked at the press conference; Joanna Jedrzejczyk flew in from Poland, Claudia (Gadelha) came in from Brazil, he (Jose Aldo) flew in from Brazil and then came here.

Jose Aldo UFC 200

“People came in from all over the world. Frankie’s just getting home and hasn’t seen his family. This is what we do! This is how it works.

“I didn’t prevent him from fighting at UFC 200. He knew what the deal was, I told him what the deal was and he opted to do that.”

Conspiracy theories of all shapes and sizes emerged when McGregor was removed from the July 9 event due to the popular belief that it would have been too petty a move for the UFC to pull McGregor for one failed media appearance.

UFC 196 Press Conference, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada 3/3/2016 Conor McGregor Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Raymond Spencer

One such supposition was that the promotion was attempting to protect its biggest cash-cow from going 0-2 to the same guy but that theory was wholeheartedly rejected by White on Wednesday evening.

“I’ve said it a million times,” White said. “Conor asked to fight Nate Diaz, Conor wants to fight Nate Diaz.

“I know if we’re in Brazil, we’ve got Brazil guys and if we’re in New York, we’ve got New York guys. But Conor doesn’t back down from fights.

UFC 196: McGregor v Diaz

“One of the things that’s made him popular and as big as he is is that this dude wants to fight. This guy comes to fight and he comes out guns a-blazing.

“Conor is fun, Conor is a stud and I have a lot of respect for Conor. But you have to show up and do the PR. You have to do it!”