Conor McGregor Tired of UFC Media Obligations

Conor McGregor Tired of UFC Media Obligations

Sign up for a FloCombat Pro account for exclusive live streaming MMA events, in-depth athlete documentaries and more!By Peter CarrollDana White’s explanatio

Apr 20, 2016 by Duane Finley
Conor McGregor Tired of UFC Media Obligations
Sign up for a FloCombat Pro account  for exclusive live streaming MMA events, in-depth athlete documentaries and more!

By Peter Carroll

Dana White’s explanation on Sportscenter last night helped quell speculation surrounding a retirement announcement from UFC’s top draw, featherweight champion Conor McGregor. He stated that McGregor’s refusal to travel to Vegas for media obligations forced the promotion to pull him from their marquee event on July 9, but White could not verify whether or not he actually intends to retire.

“We pulled McGregor from UFC 200, and we’re working on other fights right now. Conor did not want to come to Las Vegas to film the commercial or be a part of any of the marketing that we have. He’s in Iceland training, and it’s not possible.” 

White went on to say the validity of McGregor’s retirement was unknown. 

“We’ve had other instances of this where guys don’t want to do the press conference, but they have to. So Conor put out that tweet. Is Conor McGregor retiring? Only he can answer that. I don’t know, but he’s not fighting at UFC 200.”

The buzz around McGregor's potential retirement began when the Irishman tweeted he was hanging up his gloves after an afternoon training session in the Icelandic gym Mjolnir, where he was preparing for his much-anticipated rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 200. He nonchalantly posted,

“I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya’s later."

Those three short sentences went on to become the most retweeted post from any athlete, ever.  

If McGregor’s refusal to fly to Vegas and his subsequent pulling from UFC 200 has forced his decision to retire, he has given us plenty of warnings that it could 

White has praised "The Notorious" McGregor in the past for the amount of media obligations he fulfills. McGregor prides himself on his work ethic, but the strain of his workload has been apparent over the last year since he moved into the championship realms of the sport. 

At the UFC 189 press conference following his second-round TKO over Chad Mendes, the newly crowned, interim featherweight champion told the assembly that he was “sick to death” of his media obligations. 

“I love every single one of you here, I love the media but I’m absolutely sick to death of you. It does not come easy. It’s not just about showing up at the gym,” McGregor said. “I’ve been home 19 days this year. I’ve been constantly working, constantly promoting, constantly handling my media obligations as well as keeping on top of my weight, as well as keeping on top of my skill level, as well as managing niggling injuries.”

When McGregor was asked what he learned from Ronda Rousey after she picked up her first loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193, the Dubliner said he thought the former bantamweight champion was “doing too much on the media side."

“Maybe just push everything away. I know there were problems. I can’t really see her situation. I don’t know her situation. From looking from where I was at, I could see that maybe she’s doing a little too much on the media side,” he said at a media lunch in the lead up to UFC 194. 


If McGregor's stubborn schedule is why he's stepping away from the sport, perhaps the UFC can work out a deal with the Irishman to lighten his load. 

UFC felt they had to take a stand when McGregor refused to travel to Vegas for commercial shoots in support of their gargantuan card at the T-Mobile Arena. Given how important the event is, and since McGregor was the top billing for the night, it's understandable that White felt tremendously put out by the situation. 

Both UFC and McGregor are at a standoff now, but chances are the promotion will be forced to blink first. McGregor has been a critical earner for UFC. The featherweight champion continues to break records every time he steps into the Octagon, and despite him picking up his first loss in March to Diaz, his stock is still booming. 

The Straight Blast Gym fighter brings a host of interest from outside of the combat sports stratosphere due to his outspoken manner and spectacular fighting style. In addition, he has a whole nation following his career. White has been known to publicly lambast his fighters when they fall out of line, but during his appearance on Sportscenter, he stated facts and refused to speculate on the retirement of the fighter.

That alone is enough evidence to suggest that the door is wide open for McGregor to return to the sport if he has, in fact, retired at all.