Conor McGregor announces he is not retired
UFC 197 is Saturday and Jon Jones is making his triumphant return to the Octagon, but Conor McGregor and his standoff with the UFC has stole the headlines.
UFC president Dana White went on ESPN to share their side of the standoff, saying McGregor — who announced his retirement earlier in the day — decided he didn't want to do a press conference for UFC 200. That decision resulted in White and the UFC pulling McGregor off the card.
Well, now we have McGregor's side of the story after he released a statement on Facebook.
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Right off the bat McGregor says he has an issue with the promotional side of the sport, confirming what White said on ESPN.
"I am just trying to do my job and fight here," McGregor wrote. "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."
McGregor said he asked specifically to have some flexibility to try and focus on training for the fight.
"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," McGregor said. "I did not shut down all media requests. I simply wanted a slight adjustment.
"But it was denied."
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McGregor went on to claim his retirement tweet was simply an effort to promote UFC 200 in an effort to save the UFC their promotional budget, and it arguably did just that. The featherweight champion went on to say Nate Diaz can be the one to do the promotional heavy lifting this time around.
And he has a point.
"He came in with no shit to do that last one. I'd already done press conferences, interviews and shot the ads before [Rafael dos Anjos] pulled out," McGregor wrote.
McGregor ended with an emphatic declaration.
"For the record also –
"For USADA and for the UFC and my contract stipulations –
"I AM NOT RETIRED."
He also said he is ready to go for UFC 200 and willing to do the press conference in New York.
You can see McGregor's statement in its entirety below.
Here’s McGregor’s full statement, via Facebook. pic.twitter.com/Q6Q9I9Q2mM
— AOLSports (@AOLSports) April 21, 2016