The UFC has announced its main event for UFC 200, and it doesn’t involve Conor McGregor.
Indeed, McGregor, originally slated to fight Nate Diaz, was pulled from the card last week after refusing to fly to Vegas for a promotional news conference. Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones will now headline the event, as they square off in a unification bout on July 9 in Las Vegas.
Bruce Buffer, who has helped promote UFC 200, understands why Dana White opted to keep McGregor off the card.
“Let me put it this way,” the UFC announcer began on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “My mother was in the hospital with pneumonia, and it got really bad. I was still (available) to do my part in that commercial (promoting the fight). I’m not comparing myself to Conor, but I never forget where I came from and I never forget who helped me get there. Part of is deal is to do PR, and when you’re making the $10 million+ that he’s making a fight, and the fight is three-and-a-half months away and you’re offered a private jet to fly you, your team and even your equipment over here – they did everything they could to accommodate him. So I think Conor made a wrong decision by making that choice. But you will see Conor, and Conor will come back with the bravado and the strength and everything he brings to the table.”
McGregor (19-3) does not know when he will fight again, but it will probably be sooner rather than later. That’s what happens when you’re the biggest draw in the sport.
“Conor McGregor (and) Ronda Rousey are two fighters that have not just the great prowess of their performance in the octagon, but they have what’s called the ‘It’ factor,” Buffer said. “He will still bring that, he’s outspoken, he’s extremely cerebral. But don’t go against Dana. Don’t go against Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta – because they do everything for you and you have a role to do something for them. They’ve made you a multi-millionaire. You can get on that plane and do what’s needed to sell the next fight. So now he’s going to have to wait a few months – or God knows when – to make his next $10 million or however much money it’s going to be. But he’s still Conor McGregor and we’re all going to want to see him fight and you’re still going to have 5,000 to 10,000 Irishmen coming over loyally to watch him fight. It’s an amazing experience.”