Good news for fight fans: Conor McGregor announced on Twitter Monday morning that he’s back on the UFC 200 card and will be facing off against Nate Diaz as originally planned. Thus ends a week’s worth of confusion and anger from fans as McGregor and the UFC battled over the amount of promotion expected from the Irish fighter leading up to the mega-card in July.
Last Tuesday, Conor announced he was retiring over Twitter in what most people assumed was a joke. But as the day went on, it was clear something was amiss. And on Wednesday the UFC announced that McGregor was being removed from UFC 200. UFC president Dana White took to the cable sports shows, saying McGregor refused to leave his training camp in Iceland to participate in various media obligations in Vegas.
On Thursday, McGregor released his own statement via Facebook, saying, “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.”
“I flew an entire team to Portugal and to Iceland to make my adjustments in preparation and fix my errors I made with the weight and the cardio prep,” the post also said. “With the right adjustments and the right focus, I will finish what I started in that last fight. I will not do this if I am back on the road handing out flyers again.”
“I will always play the game and play it better than anybody, but just for this one, where I am coming off a loss, I asked for some leeway where I can just train and focus. I did not shut down all media requests. I simply wanted a slight adjustment.”
McGregor finished his statement by offering to attend the UFC 200 press conference in New York — one of three press conferences the UFC wanted him at. But it seemed like that wasn’t enough for UFC execs who wanted to underscore the idea that no fighter is too big to shirk their promotional responsibilities. Over UFC 197 weekend, Dana White repeatedly said that McGregor was off UFC 200 for good.
Fortunately, something must have happened over the past 24 hours to change everyone’s mind. Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz will happen on July 9 as originally planned.