Conor McGregor and the UFC have gone through a tumultuous couple of months and with talks of a possible Mayweather fight looming, their relationship seems one straw away from it’s breaking point.
McGregor did everything possible during his ESPN interview to make it seem as though they are on the same page but there was a hint of resentment in his voice.
“I’ll tell you what, it blew up,” McGregor told ESPN when asked about his retirement tweet. “I was kind of having fun to start, half-hearted. Then all of a sudden it’s, ‘you’re off 200!’ I was like, ‘alright, well f*ck you too, then.”
At one point McGregor admitted that he thought about giving in and jumped on the plane to Vegas but he’d be just like all of the other UFC fighters before him that are used up during their prime and tossed aside after their talents fade.
“All said and done, there were times I should have just jumped on the damn flight,” said Conor. “But sometimes you’ve got to do what’s right for you and not what’s right for everybody else, especially if you’ve done what’s right for everyone else a million times over.”
McGregor understands that his window in the fight game is limited and he was doing all that he could to keep it open, can a fighter be knocked for that? The environment in the UFC isn’t favorable to fighters that buck the norm and are anti-establishment. Until the week of UFC 197 McGregor was the ultimate company man but a few missed press conferences shows how fast the UFC is willing to turn.
“Did I make that flight (to Las Vegas)? Did I do all the media? Did I dance like a monkey? No. Am I still here? Am I still fighting? Am I still collecting? Yeah. So, they saved face, I saved face — there was no loser. We all won in a way. I had them realistically, but they couldn’t bow down, so there was no loser. I was over here, they were there and now we’re in the middle. We’re in a good spot,” McGregor said of the post-press conference climate.
If they’re truly in a good spot, Conor will be booked for another fight soon. Injuries occur all the time in the UFC and an injury to one of the fighters in the 145lb or 155lb title fights during UFC 200 week leaves the door open for a late McGregor insertion. Will Conor be excepting of that?
“I’m committed to the fight game. I enjoy competition. I enjoy challenges. If a challenge is in front of me and it appeals to me, I will go ahead and conquer it,” said McGregor.
Only time will tell if he’s committed to the UFC like he’s committed to the fight game.