While questions over whether Conor McGregor will fight at UFC 200 still rumble on, his longer term status with the promotion is also unclear.
McGregor tweeted on Sunday that he was back in the July event, with UFC boss Dana White denying that was the case the following day, but it was White’s comments during a press conference on Friday which raised bigger questions.
White confirmed McGregor was out of UFC 200 and was likely to face the winner of an interim featherweight title bout between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar at a later date.
The UFC boss said that fight was likely to take place before the promotion’s mega-event at Madison Square Garden in November, news which didn’t go down well with McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh.
“That was hard to hear – I really think that’s going too far,” he said.
“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.”
With a large Irish contingent in the city, the New York event is an important one for McGregor.
His refusal to travel to Las Vegas to promote his fight against Nate Diaz didn’t go down well with White who seems intent on ensuring the Irishman is punished.
Kavanagh accepts that reinstating his fighter into UFC 200 is unlikely, but says leaving him out of the MSG blockbuster would be foolish.
“As an Irish guy in New York, the first card in Madison Square Garden, I think Conor would show up anyway and fight someone in a changing room if White doesn’t put him on the card,” Kavanagh added. “We have to be put on the New York card.”
With the fallout from the McGregor row set to continue for some time yet, one fighter who doesn’t agree with his stance on promoting events is Miesha Tate.
The women’s bantamweight champion is set to defend her title against Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 and believes McGregor should have fulfilled his obligations.
“I understand that he has an obsession with beating Nate right now and he wants to stay focused and stay the course at all costs,” said Tate.
“I get it. But at the end of the day it says in your contract when you sign that you have to do reasonable promotion.
“This is reasonable promotion – I have never had the UFC ask me to do unreasonable promotion.
“They’re very accommodating – whatever they can do to make your life easier, they’re really accommodating. They try to make this as easy as possible.”
“It’s not unreasonable to ask to come in here for a day and give some promotion – this does huge things for the fight.
“We actually ended up having to pick up the pieces of Conor not being there – we had to film more.”
“It is what it is, but I think that Conor should be here definitely.”