UFC President Dana White put Conor McGregor to the back of his mind as he watched another of his fighters wow the audience on Monday night’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ TV show in the US.
Paige VanZant and partner Mark Ballas produced a stunning performance as they danced to the funky Austin Powers theme song, scoring 28 out of a possible 30 points.
Despite receiving a 10 from one judge the duo found themselves in danger of elimination, but that fate befell ex-NFL quarterback Doug Flutie and his partner, Karina Smirnoff.
The UFC strawweight is proving popular with the audience and fans of the show, with a victory not beyond the realms of possibility.
White certainly seemed to enjoy VanZant’s performance as he watched alongside former UFC star Chael Sonnen.
The UFC boss has had a difficult few days as the row over McGregor’s participation at UFC 200 rumbles on.
White told the Los Angeles Times on Monday there was no deal in place for the Irishman to fight at the event, despite McGregor claiming otherwise on Twitter.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 25, 2016
White said: “We haven’t talked to Conor or his manager since the press conference (Friday). I don’t know why he would tweet that.”
McGregor was scheduled for a rematch against Nate Diaz at UFC 200, but a disagreement over promoting the event caused McGregor to ‘retire’.
I have decided to retire young.
Thanks for the cheese.
Catch ya's later.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2016
He subsequently retracted his statement and his coach, John Kavanagh, remains hopeful a resolution can be found and says his fighter is still training for the event.
“I’m 51 percent optimistic and 49 percent pessimistic, if you want to know my feelings on it,” John Kavanagh told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“At some stage you’ve gotta see that maybe it’s pointless to upset so many fans that want to see this fight and ignore the kind of numbers that are gonna be brought in.
“The way the world is now, you don’t have to be physically at places to be involved in things.
“I don’t know what this obsession is with Vegas. UFC is a global sport, not a Vegas sport. I don’t see why everything has to be done there.”
“It seems to be swinging the right way and we’re aiming and we’re training for 200. We’re hoping for good news.”