Dana White hasn’t spoken to Conor McGregor since the Irishman refused to fulfill his promotional obligations in Las Vegas last week, but he is confident the “Notorious” one will fight again in the near future.
It just won’t be at UFC 200.
The Las Vegas-based promotion revealed during “Good Morning America” on Wednesday that a light heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones will headline its bicentennial event on July 9 at the T-Mobile Arena. That seemingly put the nail in the coffin on there being any chance of McGregor making back onto the card, despite the fighter’s recent claim to the contrary.
McGregor was removed from the card when he declined to attend the UFC 200 launch press conference in Las Vegas last week. After temporarily retiring via Twitter, the SBG Ireland representative said he would be willing to face Nate Diaz in the originally scheduled headliner as long as he could have a scaled back media schedule. White and the UFC wouldn’t budge, however, and now it appears that McGregor will be booked for a different event shortly after UFC 200.
“Conor’s gonna fight again. He’s gonna fight at [UFC] 201, 202 203, whatever the deal might be,” White said during a press conference in New York. “We’ll see what’s next. 200 is the fight everybody been looking forward to for a long time. It is what it is. This show’s gonna roll on, and Conor will fight again.”
Despite the loss of one of the promotion’s biggest drawing cards -- the first meeting between Diaz and McGregor at UFC 196 reportedly did in the neighborhood of 1.5 million pay-per-view buys -- White remains confident that UFC 200 will live up to the hype.
“Nothing’s changed. We’re in the fight business. Fight’s fall out and things happen and we roll on,” he said. “It’s the way that it works. The Conor thing has been crazy and it is what it is.”
In fact, the UFC boss hinted that the year’s signature fight card could have another marquee addition. As of now the event features a trio of title bouts: Cormier vs. Jones, Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes and Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar for the interim featherweight strap.
“We expect it to be big and it will be big,” White said. “We just added this fight [Cormier-Jones] to the card and we’re not done.”