- 20 Apr 16
After the shocking announcement that the Irishman is finished with the fight game, what's Conor's next move?
Whether you believe his "I have decided to retire young.Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya's later," tweet or not, Conor McGregor is almost certainly not going to be fighting at UFC 200 in July.
At the moment, everyone seems to be in the dark about his next move. “Is Conor McGregor retiring? Only he can answer that question,” explained UFC President Dana White. “I don’t know. But he’s not fighting at UFC 200.”
People have claimed that the Irishman didn't want to do any marketing for the Nate Diaz rematch. However, he has only ever complained about the volume of media commitments he's been entrusted with, he's never complained about having to market the McGregor brand.
Speaking to ESPN last night, White claimed, “Conor did not want to come to Las Vegas and film the commercial or be part of any of the marketing that we have. He’s in Iceland training, and it’s not possible.”
"Obviously we still have a good relationship with Conor. I respect Conor as a fighter and I like him as a person," White said. "But you can't decide not to show up to these things. You have to do it."
The most plausible theory as to why McGregor has chosen the nuclear option, is to do with money. There's been tension between Conor and Dana for well over a year now, stemming from how the Dubliner is financially rewarded by Zuffa. Consistently, at press conference after press conference, the 27-year-old has referenced his fellow contemporaries as having no value to the UFC. He remarked that Rafael Dos Anjos had "never brought a dime to the company" and multiple times, he told the UFC President "you're welcome", when fighters with a monetary connection to him spoke during the 'Go Big' presser in September 2015.
What's Conor's next move? It's no secret that he has modelled himself after Floyd Mayweather. The logical next step for a man that wants the lions share of money from his fights, should be to set up his own promotion or be his own promoter. Unfortunately, that will be tricky for an athlete still under contract with the UFC. If you know their history with court cases of this nature, they do not settle, they prolong them and the UFC has the resources to drag this dispute out for years.
Conor played his hand for the 200 fight card and the UFC called his bluff. He may be one of the greatest cash-cows the promotion has, but it appears the Dubliner underestimated the ego of Dana White.