Looks like there won't be a rematch after all.
It seems that the UFC won’t change their decision to remove Conor McGregor from UFC 200 despite McGregor releasing a statement which confirms that he is not retiring and he is training for his return fight against Nate Diaz.
This is according to TMZ, who reported that the UFC has completely pulled the plug on the rematch because of McGregor’s refusal to commit to pre-fight appearances.
The organization offered to fly McGregor on a private jet and also promised to ship out every piece of his gym equipment from Iceland to Las Vegas for a pre-fight media event but McGregor didn't accept.
UFC President Dana White however still believes that McGregor will return to the Octagon for a match later this year.
Speaking to Colin Cowherd a day after McGregor’s cryptic tweet, White believes that McGregor is not retiring and that he will fight again in the near future.
If the TMZ report is true, this leads us to believe that the UFC didn’t consider McGregor’s un-retirement statement.
The statement also removes all speculation that the death of fellow fighter Joao Carvalho had anything to do with McGregor's wanting to walk away from the sport that has made him a millionaire.
Many had assumed the death of the Portuguese fighter led to McGregor's tweet, especially after seeing what he posted on Facebook right after the fight.
McGregor was live at ringside to support Carvalho, and stated that, "Nobody involved in combat sports of any kind wants to see this. It is such a rare occurrence that I don't know how to take this."
But this was not the case after all.
According to McGregor, all of the pre-fight preparations have become a distraction, leading to "incorrect fight preparation.” He added that, “I need to focus on me now. I'm coming for my revenge here."
Diaz handed McGregor his first loss in the UFC during their battle at UFC 196. McGregor mentioned Diaz in the post, stating that he needs to “prepare correctly” as he is fighting against a bigger opponent in UFC 200.
“I must isolate myself now. I am facing a taller, longer and heavier man. I need to prepare correctly this time.”
Their first bout was pitted in the 170-lb welterweight division. McGregor, being only a featherweight, needed to climb up to two weight classes in order to face Diaz.
McGregor also stated that his tweet two days ago was just a way to promote his upcoming match without the usual promotional legwork.
"There had been 10 million dollars allocated for the promotion of this event is what they told me," he said. "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."
For a fighter who seems to love promoting his fights....
..if his statement is true and not just a product of the backlash or reaction his retirement generated, then it seems that the fight was just all pure wasted hype. Nothing more, nothing less.
It appears Conor was really preparing for UFC 200, and didn't want to leave his home country for it. Casual fight fans can tell you that Diaz was surely doing the same.
That could've been a hell of a fight.