The UFC has had many names and personalities carry its brand throughout the years, but Conor McGregor is the current face and mouthpiece of the mixed martial arts giant. His rise to stardom came through the legal troubles and drug use of Jon “Bones” Jones and sudden fall of Ronda Rousey.
Not only is McGregor the current face of the UFC, he has also become the outspoken mouthpiece that has caused a rise in the promotion of fights and a sudden power struggle with UFC president Dana White. The struggle stems from a simple tweet from McGregor that hinted at his early retirement.
I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya’s later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
His retirement lasted a brief 44 hours and led to the shakeup of UFC 200, which was posed to have McGregor versus Nate Diaz II as the main event. Some took the tweet as a serious retirement but others knew that McGregor was likely using it as a ploy to force the UFC’s hand while earning him more money. No matter the opinions of others, McGregor became the first fighter to gather a $1 million purse even though he lost to Diaz. The “retirement” was also something that made it clear what Diaz’s intentions were if he was not fighting McGregor.
I guess my work here is done I’m retiring too✌🏼️👊🏼
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) April 19, 2016
But things are starting to heat up between White and McGregor, and the new headline fight for UFC 200 is now Jones versus Daniel Cormier, even though McGregor has made it very clear that he is ready to fight in the event. And he is making his point very clear about what is going on in his head and heart with a Facebook post about his current feelings about the UFC and White.
“I am just trying to do my job and fight here.
I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote.
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.
50 world tours, 200 press conferences, 1 million interviews, 2 million photo shoots, and at the end of it all I’m left looking down the barrel of a lens, staring defeat in the face, thinking of nothing but my incorrect fight preparation. And the many distractions that led to this.
Nothing else was going through my mind.
It is time to go back and live the life that got me this life.
Sitting in a car on the way to some dump in Conneticut or somewhere, to speak to Tim and Suzie on the nobody gives a fuck morning show did not get me this life.
Talking to some lady that deep down doesn’t give a fuck about what I’m doing, but just wants some sound bites so she can maybe get her little tight ass a nice raise, and I’m cool with that too, I’ve been giving you all raises. But I need to focus on me now.
I’m coming for my revenge here.
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.
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.
But it was denied.
There had been 10 million dollars allocated for the promotion of this event is what they told me.
So as a gesture of good will, I went and not only saved that 10 million dollars in promotion money, I then went and tripled it for them.
And all with one tweet.
Keep that 10 mill to promote the other bums that need it. My shows are good.
I must isolate myself now.
I am facing a taller, longer and heavier man. I need to prepare correctly this time.
I can not dance for you this time.
It is time for the other monkeys to dance. I’ve danced us all the way here.
Nate’s little mush head looks good up on that stage these days. Stuff him in front of the camera for it.
He came in with no shit to do that last one. I’d already done press conferences, interviews and shot the ads before RDA pulled out.
Maybe I’ll hit Cabo this time and skull some shots pre-fight with no obligation.
I’m doing what I need for me now.
It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way.
I feel the $400million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway.
I am still ready to go for UFC 200.
I will offer, like I already did, to fly to New York for the big press conference that was scheduled, and then I will go back into training. With no distractions.
If this is not enough or they feel I have not deserved to sit this promotion run out this one time, well then I don’t know what to say.
For the record also –
For USADA and for the UFC and my contract stipulations –
I AM NOT RETIRED.“
McGregor has been caught up in the promotion game, but that has become synonymous with who he is and what he does. White called his bluff and the consequences of the retirement tweet could affect McGregor’s pocketbook, at least for now.
But, what would come of things if White and McGregor can patch things up in the next couple of weeks? They are both hard-headed and stubborn — outspoken as well — but a compromise could be an enormous boost for the UFC brand and pay per view buys for UFC 200. If an agreement was made between the two, a co-main event of Jones versus Cormier and McGregor versus Diaz would be a huge draw, much like UFC 100 was with the fight card that it had on tap for the evening.
This isn’t the first time that a struggle has taken place in the UFC, nor will it be the last, but White had better handle things better than the Reebok-UFC sponsorship agreement that took place. He can no longer go around pushing his weight as president with no compromise between himself, the UFC sponsors and the fighters employed by his company. If this continues to happen on a consistent basis, there might be more fighters that take their talents to Bellator, which could cause a cosmic shift in talent between the two companies.
It is understandable that power struggles happen, but this could be a catastrophic situation for both the UFC and McGregor if it isn’t quickly taken care of. In the meantime, hopefully an announcement is made soon about an agreement to make UFC 200 the best fight card we’ve seen since the card from UFC 100. In the meantime, White has announced that McGregor will “fight on 201, 202, 203, whatever,” according to a Yahoo Sports report.