Dana White Says Conor McGregor ‘Freaked Out’ And Refused To Promote His Fight

UFC president Dana White’s interview on Sportscenter on Tuesday night on the sudden retirement of Conor McGregor left a lot of people with more questions than answers. White said the situation was simple: McGregor refused to fly to Las Vegas to promote the fight, so they were forced to pull him off the UFC 200 card. The why behind Conor’s reluctance to attend was never explained, and we were left wondering what pieces we were still missing that would make this ridiculous situation make sense.

White was back on television Wednesday to try and lay out how the UFC lost their big UFC 200 headline fight.

“So Conor had basically said he didn’t want to come to Las Vegas,” Dana told Colin Cowherd. “And we had a tour planned. We were going to start out in Vegas, we were gonna then go to Stockton, and then New York, and then he could go back to Iceland where he is right now. And he said ‘I don’t want to do it. I’m not going to come. And I was basically saying, ‘You have to come.’ ”

“You can’t not show up to promote your fight. You can’t do it. And that’s where we ended up.”

“It’s not like I’m asking Conor to come out here and do something none of the other fighters are doing,” he continued. “All the other fighters are showing up and doing it. And it’s not like this is three weeks before his fight. This fight isn’t for three months. So Conor, at the end of the day, for whatever reason, he freaked out about this. He’s a very reasonable guy, he’s a smart guy. And he likes money. So this is weird.”

Dana denied the issue had anything to do with money or McGregor suddenly demanding a higher purse, saying Conor was a stand-up guy who wouldn’t pull that kind of thing. He also said he thought Conor would fight again for the UFC, possibly as soon as this year. White’s tone was friendly and conciliatory — he even said if McGregor called him after the interview, they might be able to salvage the UFC 200 fight. But he also warned if his retirement lasted too long, Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar would be fighting for his featherweight belt at UFC 200.

According to White, McGregor’s managers tried to push the press tour back to May, but the UFC already had the $10 million promotional machine rolling and couldn’t accommodate his request. As for why McGregor was so insistent on not traveling right now … well, we still don’t have any answers on that front. It sounds like White is waiting on McGregor to fill in that particular blank.

At the start of the segment, Cowherd encouraged fans to tweet into the show using the #HerdAsksDana hashtag. So if you’re wondering what the sentiment of the fans is looking like as they digest the loss of the UFC 200 main event and possibly Conor McGregor forever…