Dana White denied today that money had anything to do with the situation with Conor McGregor and UFC 200, but also admitted that the McGregor vs. Nate Diaz fight could still be saved and said he believed McGregor would fight for the UFC again within the next year.
White appeared this afternoon on the Colin Cowherd show on FS 1 and said, “It’s not a money issue. That’s false. That’s the problem with the Internet. Never ever was this about money. Conor makes a lot of money and he’s very happy with the money he makes.”
He said McGregor has never come back after agreeing to a deal and looked for more money.
White claimed the entire issue is that McGregor refused to come to Las Vegas this weekend for promotional purposes. White said they were going to shoot the television commercial and have press conferences in three cities, starting in Las Vegas, and then he’d be able to return to Iceland and train for the fight, noting it’s not like they were asking him three weeks before the fight to break camp.
White claimed that in a conversation with McGregor’s manager, he was asked to move this to May and White said that they were spending $10 million promoting the show and the money is in motion.
“It never got combative,” said White. “I was talking to his manager. They were asking, `Let’s move all this to May.’ You can’t move it. This stuff is in motion.”
“I’m not mad, even a little bit,” said White to Cowherd, who said that White didn’t appear to be mad yesterday when they were together. “You were with me yesterday, did I seem mad? It’s UFC 200. It’s a massive fight. Believe me, when Conor went out, ten other people called asking to come in.”
“Obviously Conor made a decision and made a choice to not want to fight on this card. And that’s how he gets paid. That’s on him. The show will go on.”
White said that McGregor does have to clear up the retirement talk, noting that if McGregor says he’s retired, then the UFC 200 fight with Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar would be for the featherweight title and not, as it stands right now, the interim title.