Last week Conor McGregor announced his retirement in a power play against the UFC who was asking, in Conor McGregor’s mind, unreasonable marketing responsibilities. In response, the UFC pulled McGregor from UFC 200 and, according to McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh, are keeping McGregor off the debut card in New York scheduled to take place in November.
John Kavanagh said:
“That was hard to hear. I really think that’s going too far. [McGregor] was bold, but it wasn’t anything that bad. If we get the slap on the wrist for 200, we definitely can’t be put on the naughty [list] for New York.”
From the article on MMA Fighting:
Fighting in New York is very important to McGregor and his team. New York has been a hub for Irish immigrants since the 1800s. To this day, 12.9 percent of New York State residents claim Irish ancestry, the most of any state, according to the Wall Street Journal. And Irish Americans make up about 5.3 percent of New York City’s population, with large Irish communities in both Queens and Brooklyn.
The discussions and content of the talks between McGregor and the UFC that brought McGregor out of retirement are unknown. McGregor has said on Twitter that he is back on UFC 200 although the UFC says that is not true.
One could see the move to keep McGregor out of UFC 200 as punishment for McGregor failing to fulfill his perceived duties as a participant in the main event. Dana White has a history of being critical of people and their actions when they go against the plans that the UFC has in place. While we don’t know for sure it could be a reasonable assumption to make that the UFC is sending a message not only to McGregor but other fighters that the UFC is ultimately the one calling the shots in negotiations and income for fighters.